Issue #1(11) 2017 Astronautics

Space economics - industry trends and space investing

Dylan Taylor Colliers International, USA

The economics of the space industry are changing. Within so called ‘NewSpace’ not only are new entrants being created almost daily, the business models and capital sources have proven to be dramatically different from traditional models built upon large government contracts and defence related spending. If economics is to be believed, the future of the industry will be dramatically different from anything the industry has previously experienced. This will create opportunities for industry participants including agile and well-led established companies, talented and skilled professionals as well as investors.

What is NewSpace? It is perhaps best to describe what it is not. NewSpace companies are not multi-billion multinational companies that have other commercial interests in addition to space, nor are they smaller low growth firms focused exclusively on sovereign nations as clients via grants and SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) awards.

They are typically either companies focused on commercial elements of space, or they are part of the supply chain for larger space companies and are disrupting that supply chain with innovation. They are characterised by a scrappiness and mentality which is distinctly associated with Silicon Valley start-ups and they see existing business models as broken, inefficient or outdated. Perhaps the most prominent example of a newspace company is SpaceX.

Notwithstanding the fact that their business is primarily, if not exclusively, driven by the US government, they have approached solving issues in space from a non-traditional Silicon Valley startup mind set.

Find out more about space economics and NewSpace companies in the full version of the article, available now to our subscribers.

To continue reading this premium article, subscribe now for unlimited access to all online content

If you already have a login and password to access - Please log in to be able to read all the articles of the site.

Popular articles

See also

Space Environment

Copernicus, ESA’s most ambitious Earth Observation programme


Are we asking the right questions about space debris?


Beagle 2: discovering the lost Mars lander

Popular articles

When the US transcontinental railroad was being contemplated, regional rail providers had limited and isolated markets that were successful but not scalable – when it comes to the exploitation of space resources there may be modern day economic paral Astronautics

Maximising the economic opportunities of deep space

A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Space Science

Exploring the extreme universe


CubeSats changing the landscape for ‘app’ developers