Commercial Space Industry Opportunities Set to Take Off | Technological goal

NASA has its sights set on long-term stays and travel in space, including building a new space station orbiting the moon and eventually traveling to Mars. To achieve its goals, NASA is partnering with commercial companies and laying the groundwork for what could become a massive space industry.

The space industry is expected to take off in the next five to seven years, as commercial companies invest in low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, in-space data analytics, manufacturing and power generation. NASA has partnered with several commercial space companies to advance the space industry – two of which include SpaceX and Blue Origin – to build landing pads for the lunar surface as part of its Artemis program, which aims to establish a long-term presence finish on the moon.

There are already many avenues for commercial firms to invest in the space industry, with more on the horizon as entities like NASA push themselves further into space, said Colonel Pamela Melroy, NASA Deputy Administrator. Melroy spoke during the Space Innovation Summit on Tuesday hosted by America’s Future Series, an organization that offers speaker series on issues affecting U.S. global competitiveness.

Through the investments that NASA and others have made, we have built an incredible commercial space industry that can do amazing things.

Colonel Pamela MelroyDeputy Administrator, NASA

“Through the investments NASA and others have made, we’ve built an incredible commercial space industry that can do amazing things,” he said.

Emerging opportunities in the space industry

NASA’s work to build public and private partnerships has been a significant enabler for US and international commercial investments in space, Andr Pienaar, founder and CEO of C5 Capital, said at the summit.

He also said the work commercial companies, including SpaceX, have been doing to reduce the cost of launching rockets has been “transformative” for investments in space.

“We are at the beginning of the democratization of space,” he said.

NASA’s work to build access to the moon is leading commercial companies to become interested in space tourism, including through the construction of commercial space stations, Melroy said.

NASA is helping to pave the way for numerous opportunities for commercial enterprises in space.
Commercial business opportunities are increasing in the space.

“There are four companies that NASA has partnered with that are interested in building commercial destinations in low Earth orbit — these are commercial space stations, which we hope will be ready in about five or six years,” he said.

Melroy added that as interest in building space stations and other space infrastructure increases, so will job opportunities for skilled manufacturers. Indeed, Ajay Malshe, a professor of mechanical, agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University, said during the summit that resilient and sustainable operations will be key in space, as well as other extreme environments such as offshore oil drilling.

“Production, assembly and maintenance in space are an important part of operating in space,” he said.

Melroy said space law is another growing industry that will need significant investment in the coming years. Space is not governed by general laws and the United States is not the only country interested in developing a space industry.

Under the Artemis programme, 27 countries have signed the Artemis Agreements to provide guiding principles for cooperation in space.

“As we go forward, we should have some agreements on how we are going to act towards each other,” Melroy said. “Principles such as transparency, data sharing, not interfering with each other and ensuring that space is available to all. These are the principles embodied in the Artemis Accords.”

Makenzie Holland is a news writer covering big tech and federal regulation. Prior to joining TechTarget, she was a general reporter for the Wilmington StarNews and a crime and education reporter at the Normal trader of Wabash.

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