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 Development
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),
Space Servicing and Transfer (Hubble-style repairs),
Space Rescue (ability to launch quickly to save a mission), and
Space Debris Management
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
CSTS, 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 suborbital trajectories.
Space Utilities
Using space-based assets to generate or transmit power for use on earth.
Space Medical Facilities/Hospitals
CSTS, 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.

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