Revenue Models in the Space Economy: Capitalizing on the Final Frontier

It’s all about the revenue stream…


The space economy, encompassing all activities and industries related to outer space, presents numerous opportunities for revenue generation. As technological advancements and government policies drive the growth of this sector, businesses can leverage various revenue models to capitalize on the unique opportunities it presents. This article explores the revenue models that are applicable to the space economy and provides examples of how they can be utilized.

Product Sales

Selling space-related products, such as satellites, spacecraft components, and advanced materials, to commercial or government clients. Companies can also develop and sell hardware or software solutions for space operations, data processing, and communications.

Example: Astra Space sells propulsion products to commercial and government customers for integration into the design of the customer’s satellites.

Service Fees

Charging fees for providing space-related services, such as satellite maintenance, space debris removal, or consulting on space projects. Companies may also offer space tourism services, like suborbital flights, orbital stays, or lunar expeditions.

Example: Axiom Space offers a comprehensive service package for private astronauts, including training, transportation, and in-orbit support during their stay on the International Space Station (ISS).


Offering subscription-based access to space-derived data, such as earth observation, weather monitoring, or global communications. Companies may also provide satellite connectivity services on a subscription basis.

Example: Planet Labs offers a subscription service for access to its high-resolution satellite imagery and geospatial data.

Licensing and Royalties

Licensing patented technologies, designs, or intellectual property to other companies in the space industry. This can include innovations in propulsion systems, materials, or manufacturing processes.

Example: Boeing has a large portfolio of intellectual property which it will license to partners.

Advertising and Sponsorship

Generating revenue by partnering with advertisers or sponsors for space missions, events, or content creation. This can include product placement, branded spacecraft, or sponsored research projects.

Example: Pizza Hut purchased advertising on Russian launch vehicles gaining massive media exposure.

Pay-per-use or Pay-per-transaction

Charging customers based on their use of space-related services or facilities, such as satellite data access, launch services, or ground station services.

Example: Rocket Lab offers dedicated and rideshare launch services, charging customers based on the payload mass and desired orbit.

Marketplaces and Platform Fees

Operating a platform that connects space industry stakeholders, such as satellite operators, launch service providers, and hardware manufacturers, and charging fees for transactions, listings, or premium features.

Example: Precious Payload operates an online platform connecting satellite operators to launch service providers and other related services such as insurance, ground stations, data services, transportation, etc..

Data Monetization

Collecting, analyzing, and selling data or insights derived from space-based assets, such as satellite imagery, remote sensing, or space weather monitoring.

Example: Spire Global collects and sells data on maritime, aviation, and weather patterns using its constellation of small satellites.


The space economy presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses to generate revenue through various models. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, companies must remain adaptable and innovative to capitalize on the unique market dynamics of this emerging sector. By exploring different revenue models, businesses can identify the most suitable approach for their offerings and establish a solid foundation for growth in the space economy.