Professor Alessandro Golkar of the Skoltech Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) gave a talk today on New Space, covering the changes taking place in the space sector over the last decade. These changes, as it turns out, are significant. The global space economy, according to Golkar’s presentation, is currently valued at $344.5 billion, and the number of space sector startups has been increasing at an average of 50 per year, with over 2500 currently active.
Professor Golkar talked about what is driving these startups into the New Space sector and what his research group is involved in in that regard.
The New Space phenomenon is born out of a drive from state investment but also from private investors around the globe. Today’s investors are spending more money on space than the amount spent for the entire Apollo program of the 1960s.
A prominent example of some of the big changes taking place in the space industry is SpaceX, which has resulted in reusable rockets and decreased launch costs by up ten times. The advent of nanosatellites has also changed the industry, especially with regards to launch costs.
According to Golkar, the democratization of access to space through crowd and distributed knowledge remains an unexplored opportunity in the sector, and money can be made by recurring revenue based on information-based services and space data.
The goal is to make space transparent and easy to access. For example, imagine comparing launch opportunities with the same ease as searching for flight tickets on Skyscanner. This is already happening, although it is still early days.
In the context of this New Space boom, Professor Golkar’s work at Skoltech is very relevant. His research in the field covers space mission analysis and design, satellite payload development, in-orbit technology demonstrators, and high-altitude technology demonstrators.
Last December, he gave the same presentation at the New Space Economy expo forum in Rome.
“Space agencies today are supporting the private sector a lot. However, the mechanism by which this is done is something that is still being explored. In other words, there is no standard way to support the development of the private sector. If you look at history, aviation and Silicon Valley were also born from government investments. This is yet another case of very high technology being transitioned into the market.” – Associate Professor Alessandro Golkar (CEI)
Professor Golkar’s presentation at the New Space Economy forum last December was well received and even inspired industry colleagues to cite it in their own presentations.
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