Issue #3(25) 2020 Astronautics

Commercial opportunities beyond Earth orbit

The Lunar Gateway will orbit the Moon serving as a space station and hub for lunar and deep space exploration.
The Lunar Gateway will orbit the Moon serving as a space station and hub for lunar and deep space exploration.
Clint Graumann TerraMetric, Orlando, Florida, USA

Entrepreneurs and private companies are increasingly being attracted to the rich tapestry of new commercial space opportunities which are now opening up across the global space market, particularly in terms of future deep space exploration. TerraMetric’s Clint Graumann assesses the exciting possibilities ahead and looks at where they might lead.

Commercialisation in NewSpace is growing and it’s happening beyond Earth orbit too. Governments are supporting private investment in space technology startups as a way to attract talent, achieve greater agility and improve efficiency. And investors are motivated by the broad spectrum of opportunities and the wide range of possible downstream applications.

To date, this combination of private investment and government support has resulted in a focus upon Earth orbit - and for good reason. We have learned so much about ourselves and our planet while proving that private investment can create a sustainable space economy.

This new economy has produced constellations of Earth observation satellites which help us see both how our world is changing and how we have changed our world. Guidance and navigation constellations help us attach value to spatial data by understanding precise location in conjunction with adjacent observations.

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