Space Markets: 1996 in Review

1996 was a banner year for space markets. Some of the most significant milestones were: On the other hand, many of the breakthroughs that I expected for 1996 have slipped into 1997. A few things to watch for in 1997:

So you can see various signs of market expansion, but also a certain unsteadiness in terms of hardware actually getting built and launched on time. It sure looks to me like the markets are there and the customer (communications, burial, entertainment, etc.) businesses are there. But can the companies who actually build space hardware (especially launchers) step up to the challenge? Or are they going to dither and underinvest and fail to outgrow their government contractor culture, thereby delaying the explosion and insuring that when it does happen, they will be sitting on the sidelines?

More information on each of these items should be available elsewhere on the space markets page in most cases, or I'm probably willing to dig up some references upon request.

This page is part of Jim Kingdon's space markets page.