Report: Socio-Economic Elements of European Human Space Transportation (PWC 2022)


The document titled “Socio-Economic Elements of European Human Space Transportation,” is a final report released to the public in December 2022. The report discusses the potential socio-economic benefits of developing a European human space transportation (HST) system, assuming it would become operational between 2028 and 2040. The study covers market perspectives, socio-economic impact assessment, and conclusions and key highlights.

The decision to invest in human space transportation can have significant consequences, as it generates economic, technological, social, and strategic benefits. HST is considered a strategic governmental asset, enabling human space exploration, the development of certain space-based services, and autonomy and independence.

The report presents an assessment of the future market for human space transportation and the share that could be addressable by a European capability over the 2028-2040 timeline. It also provides preliminary elements related to the economic, technological, and strategic benefits of developing autonomous HST capacities in Europe and an assessment of the cost of inaction for Europe in a scenario where it would forego the development of autonomous HST capacities.

Under the scenario where Europe develops its own HST system (Option 2), the total revenues that could be captured by Europe between 2028 and 2040 would range between €5.9 and €9.9 billion. This would foster the European industry and economy, boost the European industrial landscape, and significantly reduce Europe’s dependence on foreign capacities for access to HST-related and adjacent technologies.

In conclusion, the development of European HST capacities would not only support the economic development of the industry but also lead to additional revenues generated from commercial and foreign institutional demand. Furthermore, autonomous and independent European HST capacities would reinforce Europe’s sovereignty and strategic positioning in a domain directly impacted by the geopolitical consequences of the conflict in Ukraine and would strengthen Europe’s role in future collaborative missions for human space transportation and exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

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