The Emerging Economy of the Space Industry

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Unbeknownst to us, space is actually an important part of our lives. In fact, many of our devices as well as navigations and weather forecasts heavily depending on the satellites that are orbiting our planet. This and more all started when humans started exploring space during the 1960s.

However, the development of the space industry was postponed for the last 20-30 years. This was due to several fatal incidents, accompanied with the high expenses incurred by governments around the world. According to Elon Musk, humanity has not advanced enough. It is now turning to the private sector to act to help the industry emerge once again.

Innovators such as Elon Musk, Jeff Besos, and Richard Branson have set the ground for space endeavors in the private sector. As a result of the technical improvements and cost optimizations done, as well as government help received, the highway to space is open. This means that it is now creating opportunities for everyone willing to be part of the future. As per data from 2019, the space economy is valued at $423.8 billion, and Morgan Stanley is estimating a potential revenue of $1 trillion by 2040.

Space tourism

Let’s take space tourism, for example, which is now an industry that’s open, despite the fact that only wealthy people can afford it due to the premium pricing it has. We have already witnessed several private trips to space. Potential destinations for commercial flights could be the Moon, the International Space Station, space hotels, and even Mars.

Virgin Galactic, for instance, is offering 90 minutes flight with breathtaking views of Earth in the Low-Orbit. In comparison, SpaceX has more comprehensive options, such as trips to the ISS. They are also planning to offer journeys to the Moon and Mars in the near future. As Professor Stephen Hawking once said, “Taking more and more passengers out into space will enable them and us to look both outwards and back, but with a fresh perspective in both directions.”

Manufacturing

Increasing the demand for space flights means more space ships, components, parts, and other components related to the industry. The maintenance of them would also be a major contributor. As such, the manufacturing industry would surely broaden to creating parts fit for space travel.

Education

The space industry is expected to grow in the next decades, so the demand for engineers, pilots, astronauts, and flight attendants will increase. Some universities may add their offerings of courses geared towards space to equip interested students to contribute to the industry.

Space junk

Space junk is already a problem even without a developed space tourism sector. Many broken space satellites are floating in Space along with parts, trash, and much other small stuff. Flying around at a speed higher than a bullet, space trash could cause serious trouble if it hits a working satellite. This, in turn, would lead to significant financial losses. Therefore, there will be a need for space cleaners, creating another opportunity for making a decent living.

Conclusion

It is not a secret that there are still a lot of issues to be solved. Securing a safe and pleasant flight in space is one of the most difficult ones. The cost as of now is also very expensive, starting from $450,000 with a deposit of $150,000. I believe that it is a matter of time until it becomes more affordable and we can travel to space.

Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Willyam.

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