As with many novel concepts in their early stages, the term “commercial space economy” has been used frequently without a clear definition of its boundaries, yet this multifaceted industry is more than just space tourism and is only expanding.
In 2021, the total global space economy was estimated at $469 billion – up over 60% from estimates just a decade prior – and in BofA Global Research’s view, it will likely continue to grow to ~$1.1 trillion by 2030.
What’s propelling this growth? While it’s clear that governments across the globe no longer have a monopoly over space, they do remain a driver of investment. In fact, the European Union (EU) announced in early 2022 that it will be investing ~$15 billion through the next five years in space exploration, earth monitoring, and satellite launch programs.
And in the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has become a major proponent for advances in commercial space. NASA contracts awarded to public and private companies are often offered to broaden technological boundaries in space for applications such as communications, security and climate monitoring.