The firm identified 90 private companies "on the forefront of space disruption," writing in a note to investors. Headlined by Elon Musk's SpaceX, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and telecom satellite startup OneWeb, the report says that "the universe of private space companies is likely much broader" than even this list.
"While public investors may find it challenging to invest in space exploration, the private side is a different story. As we expand our knowledge of the private side, we expect to offer more valuable insights to public investors," Morgan Stanley said.
Morgan Stanley divvies up the space sector into 11 sub-industries: satellite launch, satellite internet, deep space exploration, lunar landing, earth observation, asteroid mining, space debris, space tourism, space research, manufacturing and other.
Increasing demand and plummeting costs to access make this industry "a highly relevant domain of disruption," the report says. The companies in the 11 sub-industries are all categorized as long-term investments.
Launch and manufacturing for satellites make up 39 percent of Morgan Stanley's list of the private space economy, by far the largest segment. That ranges from heavy hitters to small satellite-catered rocket companies like Vector, Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit.
Morgan Stanley says SpaceX and Blue Origin are the only two companies that operate in multiple sub-industries, which "may indicate that most of these companies are fairly specific with respect to their space product or service offering type."
The firm also highlighted the amount of early funding pouring into the industry, citing CNBC's coverage of venture capital investment in space.
"Investors can never be too early in understanding rapidly evolving topics," Morgan Stanley added.