The Future of the Space Industry | Space

The widely discussed private space missions financed by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are only part of a far larger development in the space industry, where the focus is shifting from government agencies to private companies. In April 2024, the World Economic Forum published a study forecasting that, “Lower costs and improved access to space-enabled technologies such as communications; positioning, navigation and timing; and Earth observation services could take the global space economy to US$1.8 trillion by 2035, up from US$630 billion in 2023.”  

In 2022, the global space economy was worth US$546 billion, of which the commercial sector accounted for around 78 percent or US$427.6 billion. Private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, and (soon) Stoke Space are playing an increasingly important role. Hundreds of companies are now active in the space sector, and the competition between rocket manufacturers to find the cheapest solutions for launching satellites has led to dramatic cost reductions. “Thanks to private space travel, the cost of a rocket launch is now only a fifth of what it was 15 years ago,” says space-travel expert Robert Zubrin.

The growing dominance of private companies in the space industry is remarkable because it contrasts so strikingly with more general global political and economic trends. Over the past 15…


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