The challenges of working within the space environment generate space spin-offs that create significant value here on Earth in various industries: infrared ear thermometers, fire resistant coatings, parallel computing, advanced solar cells, global ship traffic management, etc.
A Mature industry undergoing significant change
- $335 billion established growth industry
- Enabled by a $5.4 billion launch services industry that is dominated by communication satellites and infrastructure
- Remote sensing, broadband, and IoT applications are experiencing significant growth
- Analysts predicted 180 smallsats launched for 2017. By June more than 254 had actually flown
- SpaceX is now one of the most valuable privately held tech companies at $21 billion
space is hard and that's a good thing
Space has naturally occurring properties and resources that don’t exist on Earth:
- Uninterrupted sunlight
- Complete view of the Earth’s surface and its atmosphere
- Limitless raw materials (water, metals, etc)
- Near sterile environment
- Temperature near absolute zero
- Environment devoid of perturbing effects (wind, vibration etc)
The interdisciplinary nature of solving problems in that environment requires the best from every field of human endeavor.
access to space
Launch is a significant cost and risk component of any space application. Over just the past few years new launch providers such as SpaceX and India have significantly reduced the cost of accessing space.
Drastic reductions in underlying costs create new business models in new markets.