Just like the universe itself, the possibility of commercializing space is truly incalculable. Future sectors may range from mass space tourism and commercial space exploration to asteroid mining operations and planetary colonization efforts. However, such potentials are still ideas, albeit ones with great potential for the future.
That is not to say any of it is not going to happen, but it may still take a while before we get there. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects of commercializing space in the present, which will immediately contribute towards furthering an industry that’s already generating a yearly revenue of well over $424 billion.
Education in Commercializing Space
Education may not seem like something that would be so directly connected to commercializing space exploration, but it should make more sense on taking a minute to think about it. Collectively as humans, we do know a lot more about some aspects of the cosmos than we did before, but there are two roadblocks:
- Advanced knowledge gathered about space is mostly limited to a handful of professionals connected to various space programs.
- The number of entrepreneurs with both the capabilities and the knowledge necessary to commercialize space is even lower.
If we are to ever reach a stage where arranging guided space tours or colonizing planets would be considered possible, educating the leading entrepreneurs of today will prove to be a crucial step in that direction.
The Space Foundation’s newly launched courses for space entrepreneurs are designed to help spread the knowledge needed for commercializing space right now. There are also courses on offer from some of the world’s leading space research institutes. They are meant to spread knowledge about space within specialized professionals. Rest assured that, in due time, the need for specialists from other professions will only expand.
Low Earth Orbit Commercialization
As confirmed by NASA, the potential for low earth orbit commercialization with constructions similar to the International Space Station is encouraging. The leading space association published a brief report on their findings, based on reports by the twelve specialist, privatized teams that were tasked with analyzing business potentials of building commercial facilities like the ISS. You can go through the whole report here. As for the most important and promising sectors identified in the report, we have them highlighted below.
- Human accommodation with space tourism in view
- Advertising and marketing from space
- In-space manufacturing units to leverage the advantages of microgravity and vacuum
Despite the potentials of space exploration, there is one limiting factor that’s embedded in human biology unfortunately. Outer space is not hospitable to any life, let alone human life. However, the weaknesses that are currently preventing us from landing on Mars did not limit any of the Rovers exploring the red planet right now. Robots are leagues ahead when it comes to strength and durability, so they have long been our representatives, roaming around previously unexplored parts of the solar system.
Commercial robotics in space exploration is one of the most profitable and promising segments even today and it will continue to grow in scale, capabilities, and revenue for the foreseeable future. As far as investments are concerned, smart AI and robotics designed for space exploration hold the highest promise for growth.