This article describes the challenges of New Space companies in developing the commercial space markets. It is based on a chapter from the Emerging Space Markets book recently published by Springer Publisher.
Emerging Space Markets
Over the past twenty years space agencies have been exploring ways to encourage private companies to get involved in the development of commercial space markets. Commercial launch services, in-situ resource exploitation, space debris mitigation, asteroid and lunar mining, in-orbit satellite servicing, space tourism and commercial space stations are some of the markets worth exploring. During those years space agencies have learnt that the commercialisation of space technology, built for scientific purposes, is challenging and difficult. However, commercialisation also holds the promise of new market opportunities and the development of new space transportation vehicles and space applications.
Since 2000, commercial space start-up companies have attracted over 13.3 billion USD of investment in over eighty angel and venture capital based space companies. “New Space” markets, customers and suppliers have since emerged. Competitive driving forces, changing business models, disruptive innovation and the evolving challenges of qualifying and flying payloads in shorter lead times, create new challenges for space companies. New Space companies will need to discover, identify and target commercial space markets, and attract new customers rather than the customers of the traditional space agencies. Disruptive technology innovations will be the driver for providing competitive advantages.
New Space companies will face a number of challenges when they start developing the commercial space markets. Key issues for them will be:
- What are the targeted commercial space markets and customers? Is there a business case for private companies for commercial space?
- Who are the future customers for commercial space transportation markets? In what way have the last fifteen years made a difference in the evolution of space markets?
- Is there a future for in-situ resource mining, space debris services, in-orbit satellite servicing and sub-orbital transportation?
- What are the lessons learned from ISS commercialization? Will venture capitalists understand and seek to invest in the development of these vehicles, commercial space stations and the construction of inflatable modules?
The book discusses the stakeholders, evolution and challenges of the emerging space markets, commercial launch services, in-situ resource exploitation, asteroid and lunar mining, in-orbit satellite servicing, space tourism and commercial space stations markets.
Commercialization of space technology will lead to new ideas, cost-effective transportation services and the development of key capabilities that will improve our day-to-day lives and bring economic benefits to the national economies.
More information about this book: http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783662556672
Dr. Stella Tkatchova is a project manager for a Belgian space company. She has previously worked as a project manager of long-term research innovations for the European Commission. She was awarded a PhD by the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU-Delft and also holds an MSS degree, from ISU. Written in her free time, the book expresses her purely personal views and does not reflect the ideas of any of the entities with which she is or has been affiliated. She is also the author of the the book Space-Based Technologies and Commercialised Development 2011. Several years ago she founded the international Journal of Space Technology Management & Innovation (IJSTMI).
Kosmonauta.net would like to thank to Dr Stella Tkatchova for the article.