Commercial Space Markets
Space Markets in Japanese.
What's New on the space markets page and pending updates.
Summary of the space launch markets,
with a rough attempt at some overall numbers. This is where the
demand side meets the supply side.
Supply side (launchers, microgravity platforms).
Market Segments (Demand Side)
- Military and Government Intelligence
- Positioning Satellite Service
Using satellites to locate oneself (GPS, Glonass).
- Science and Space Technology
- A category which encompases many (not all) of the
activities of NASA and other civil space agencies.
- Remote Sensing
- Taking pictures of
the earth from space (and similar operations with other instruments).
- Space Burial
- Launching human remains.
- Space manufacturing
- Research and
other activities making use of microgravity and other assets of space.
- Theme parks, space
athletic events, spacecraft telepresence, etc.
- Movies or TV shows made in space
- Sale of used space
hardware, items flown in space, and even products with only a
marketing tie-in to space.
- Space Business Parks (commercial space stations),
Servicing and Transfer (Hubble-style repairs),
- Space Rescue (ability
to launch quickly to save a mission), and
- Space Debris
- As analyzed here, these are not markets in and of
themselves, but a cost of doing business or a way of serving markets such as
manufacturing, tourism, entertainment, remote sensing, etc.
- Space tourism
- People paying for
a microgravity ride or a trip to space.
- Space Settlements
- People paying for
a longer stay in space.
- Hazardous Waste Disposal
section 3.5.5, page 184,
sees incineration as a superior
alternative for chemical and biological waste, so they only consider
nuclear waste. They see the lunar far side as the most promising
place (easy to get to, not deflected by passing asteroids, would not
interfere with gamma ray astronomy). Regulation, protest, public
opinion, etc., as with terrestrial disposal, is a big issue.
Reliability can be handled by encapsulating the payload to withstand
launch accidents, as is currently done for RTGs. Launch costs would
need to drop to about $1000/kg to match what DOE is currently planning
to spend. Transmutation (converting the waste to shorter lived
isotopes) is a potential competitor. Volume would be 4 million kg
per year (I think this is mass to LEO including LEO->moon stages),
over 30 years.
- Extraterrestrial Resources
- That is,
mining materials from extraterrestrial bodies.
- Earth Transport
- of packages (also
known as Fast Package Delivery) or passengers (also known as Ultra
High Speed Civil Transport) from one point on earth to another using
- Space Utilities
- Using space-based
assets to generate or transmit power for use on earth.
- Space Medical Facilities/Hospitals
section 3.7.4, page 286,
says there is some
reason to think that space may be helpful for some conditions
(e.g. severe burns), but not enough is known to really project a
market. To be similar in cost to ground-based hospitals, launch costs
would need to be very low ($200/kg or less).
- Strategic Ozone Initiative
- This is a concept which is being
pushed by the Russian "interozone" association. The idea is that once
ozone depletion reaches 20% it will have irreversable effects and the
Montreal protocol is insufficient to control CFCs. So the concept is
to have large lasers in orbit creating ozone (solar powered). This
would be 20 to 30 Energia launches (80-100 tons each). (Does anyone
have any information on this? The one thing I saw was a usenet post
from 1995, so I don't whether people are still advocating for this).
The 1996 in Review page might be of
interest although I didn't write one for subsequent years.
I also have a page on a few old Conferences
relevant to space markets.
My thanks to everyone who has contributed information to this page
(for example via usenet). However, I (Jim Kingdon) am responsible for
the contents of this page.
About the author.