Space, known to many as the “final frontier.” Whether or not it is truly our final plane of exploration, and it can be argued that it will not be, it is certainly a frontier that has previously been reserved for only the very rich and powerful.
The amount of resources it used to take to get to space was not accessible to anything or anyone less than major governmental institutions. Now, however, crowdfunding and cheaper materials and methods for getting to space are opening this extraterrestrial realm to future-forward entrepreneurs.
In the news, Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX, have claimed huge goals to bring humanity to Mars for colonization while also working on a brain link between humans and artificial intelligence through his newest company, Neuralink.
In times past, we would have written both of these ideas of as sci-fi dreaming hokum–but these plans are legitimately underway.
Other big name companies, like Airbus, are offering contests on how to use the SpaceDataHighway as well as crowdfunding opportunities for investors interested in the newest space technologies on SpaceStarters.
In terms of space data, we may even see the implementation of blockchain networks working in conjunction with our space data collection which could lead to highly accurate Earth simulations to help find and solve problems that, in previous years, we would have had no way to even see.
In short, the space industry is getting a lot of attention.
A lot of the reason for this change, aside from the apparent cool-factor that this industry offers, is due to growing accessibility.
The expanding accessibility to space stems from a few key technologies that include nanosatellites and reusable launchers.
To give you a gist of the extent of growth of this market, the micro- and nanosatellite market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 22.95% from 2016–2020.
So, what are nanosatellites? In many ways, they are the same as traditional satellites in terms of functionality, only much, much smaller–often the size of a shoebox.
Because they are so much smaller than the bulky mechanical beasts of times past, they are much cheaper and more efficient to launch.
The process of space launching itself is also becoming more resource-efficient mainly thanks to reusable launchers.
SpaceX, a huge name in the space industry right now, has even successfully launched and landed a used rocket called the Falcon 9.
Also like with growth in many industries, sharing has come to play a major role in the growth of the space industry. For example:
Nanoracks operates the “only commercial laboratory in outer space.” They have a long history of success under their belts with such achievements as being the first company to own and market their own hardware on the space station as well as to coordinate deployment of a satellite from the ISS. They are making space more accessible for everyone from government to students to individuals to be able to affordably research and test in space which is opening huge opportunities to those wishing to enter the industry.
We expect to see many new and intriguing startups in the space sector. The stars are calling for all entrepreneurs who are willing to take a risk and explore business beyond the confines of our atmosphere. One opportunity that could use some entrepreneurial prowess is an Earth-orbit cleanup of space debris.
Until then, check out our top 100 Space Companies for inspiration!