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Space as a business: hotels in orbit, nanosatellites and launchers providing an enormous profit

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Space industry is the one which makes science fiction coming true. It is also becoming quite popular to invest money to it. Private companies (SpaceX, Sky and Space Global, etc.) develop more and more out-of-Earth projects, the Space is open for business now.

Private launch industry

The goal of private companies  is to make launches cheap and available, one of the way to reduce price is to use small and reusable launchers. This is one of the challenges to work on. The US company RocketLab presented a vehicle Electron.  Being a super innovation, improved engine Rutherford is the first oxygen/kerosene engine to use 3D printing for all primary components.

In 2017 SpaceX managed to launch and to land partly reusable Falcon 9s, the first stage which contains the main engines is reusable.  CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, claims they will design fully reusable rocket by the end of 2018.

Nanosatellites

Nanosatellites are one more way to reduce a cost of satellite services. They are used for gathering and transferring data from multiple points, in-orbit inspection of big satellites, scientific researches, etc. It can bring affordable coverage to billions of the world’s most unserved people.

Space tourism is unbelievable yet, but already real

Another world famous entrepreneur Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic  plan to create a hotel on a space station. The tour will cost 250,000$.

Space trip on aircraft as a passenger with pilot will be possible in the nearest future with XCOR Lynx Sub-orbital plane. The announced ticket price is $95,000.

Blue Origin  owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, is developing Blue Origin The New Shepard reusable launch system as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism.

Space habitats

The program Mars One  aims to establish the first human settlement on the Mars. Currently they are working on crew selection and training, as well as on agreeing details with aerospace companies.  Elon Musk promised to send the first mission to Mars in 2022. So if you are bored with the Earth you may try to change it for Mars.  But don’t forget there is only one-way ticket!

Space is a business

As you can see the most prominent entrepreneurs, the owners and founders of the most successful companies on the Earth, open startups, invest time and money in the space industry. It looks like they know something. Here is the explanation why space is so attractive for a business from Steve Jurvetson, Partner in Draper Fisher Jurvetson:  “Compared to other industries, I have never seen such an enormous margin for improvement. There’s this canonical thing about a startup needing to pitch a 10X improvement to be a worthwhile investment. You rarely see an entrepreneur pitch a 100X improvement. But in space we’ve seen 1,000X, and really we’ve seen 10,000X.”

 

The article is inspired by CTO & Co-Founder of Sky and Space Global Meidad Pariente’s report on the Spacecom conference in Tel Aviv, 2017.