Space infrastructure boom expected by 2030 given geopolitical tension and corporate competition
Despite some teething problems at NASA, there will be a boom in space infrastructure such as space stations by 2030, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Artemis I fuel leak may undermine confidence but market on track by 2030
While the trials and tribulations of NASA’s Artemis I moon mission will undermine business confidence surrounding space exploration in the short term, GlobalData’s ‘Tech in 2030 – Thematic Intelligence’ report predicts that the market remains on track for a space infrastructure boom by 2030.
Francesca Gregory, Thematic Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Artemis I’s nefarious hydrogen fuel leak has created several false starts for NASA’s moon mission. The lunar campaign represents a key test of NASA’s new space capabilities that has undoubtedly suffered from teething problems. However, taking a longer-term view, space infrastructure is set to experience a significant uptick in investment between now and 2030.”
Geopolitics driving increased investment in space infrastructure
Both nation states and public and private companies have issued ambitious infrastructure targets ranging from space business parks to orbital outposts in the lead up to 2030. While a lot of these targets verge on the aspirational, they signal a move to increased space infrastructure investment in the future.
Gregory continues: “A wave of private and public investment can be expected to enter the space economy as companies seek a first-mover advantage in their respective sectors. Countries will also continue to compete for geopolitical dominance in a bid to extend their national interests beyond the bounds of Earth. This competition will drive increased investment in space infrastructure, with a proliferation in the number of commercial and national space stations to be expected.”
Some space stations to be completed as early as late 2022
GlobalData’s report identifies numerous projects that are currently under development. In late 2022, China will finish the construction of its Tiangong space station. Meanwhile, Russia has declared its plans to withdraw from the ISS in 2024 and intends to create its own orbital outpost. Also in 2024, Axiom Space will launch the first of its four commercial modules, which will eventually become its own space station, while Blue Origin and Sierra space aim to launch their commercial space station, Orbital Reef, by 2030.
Gregory concludes: “Infrastructure allowing a more sustained human presence in space is clearly becoming a mainstay of space companies’ long-term strategies. As a result, GlobalData predicts that the first tailored pieces of space infrastructure will be constructed for civilian astronauts by 2030.”