Space today is an innovative and profitable business

The 21st century has become a permanent and eternal one today. New technologies have become so mundane and common that we do not notice it, do not get surprised and do not think about how and why they were created. Sometimes we do not even notice the starry sky. Why does humanity need space? Why spend huge sums of money on the dream of the stars, when the earth is full of problems that require solutions, and the most important discoveries have already been made and it is only enough to maintain the achieved level of technology and comfort in modern civilization? Can space exploration profit companies and can companies help humanity open new horizons?

There are many examples that prove that investments in space technology and research give enormous returns if they find application in the economy.

Solar panels, originally developed for spacecraft, eventually led to the emergence of solar energy, which could change the energy market in the same way that the shale revolution did in its day. In a number of regions in the world, energy networks with solar energy compete successfully with natural gas.

The Hubble Orbital Telescope, an automatic observatory in Earth’s orbit, was created exclusively for scientific research. But the gigantic amount of information collected about stars and galaxies (50 terabytes), which must be sent to Earth, required the creation of remote data transmission technologies. And even though the total cost of the orbiting telescope project was about $ 6 billion, the data transfer technologies developed for this program found application in cellular communications and repeatedly paid the costs of creating Hubble. Cellular communications began to develop massively from the late 1970s, but it was not until the mid-1990s (the beginning of Hubble’s work in orbit) that the explosive growth of the mobile telecommunications industry occurred.

Now it is probably difficult to imagine how we used to travel without navigators. Global positioning satellite systems were originally developed exclusively for military purposes. But for many years now, navigation systems have come into our lives and are helping the economy: these are satellite monitoring of transport, navigation, geodesy and cartography, geotagging and geocaching.

Satellite communications, satellite TV and the internet have improved the quality of life for people around the world.

Space technology has given humanity a new medicine: magnetic resonance and computed tomography, equipment for hemodialysis and cardioangiography, defibrillators, robotic surgeons.

Sensors for monitoring harmful pollutants in the air, filter systems for water purification, for controlling food quality – these are also space technologies that serve to protect health and protect the environment on earth.

According to various estimates, the volume of the global space services market is now $ 300-400 billion per year, growing by about 5% annually, while the actual cost of launching rockets and satellites is about $ 40 billion, that is, one order. of magnitude smaller. By 2030, with the advent of new types of launch vehicles and the introduction of new technologies, the growth of the space products and services market can accelerate, and its volume will increase to about $ 1.5 trillion. How can companies ignore such prospects? Therefore, in recent years, the world has seen an influx of private investment in the development of space technology and space exploration.

Today’s practice shows that space technology is an innovative activity that can be successfully developed not only by states driven by ambition or military policy goals, but also by private companies, such as SpaceX and Tesla Motors from Elon Musk, Virgin Galactic from Richard Branson. The private research company NanoRacks has its own bays on the ISS, NovaWurks is a well-known developer of small business satellites, and the private navigation technology company Odyssey Space Research is a good example of a small company that wins contracts from large companies.

Why is space attractive for companies?

First, it is an infinite universe of innovation and scientific and technological progress. Some scientists believe that war advances technology and the progress of civilization as a whole. But outer space stimulates the development of humanity much faster and more effectively than war, and manages without mass losses and destruction.

Second, space is the use of high technology for navigation, surveillance, telecommunications, biomedicine, security, energy, including solar energy, of the real global economy.

What more can be invented and discovered? What ambitious goals can a company set for itself by exploring outer space and creating new technology?

I will only mention a few things that I have personally studied or that I know from serious scientific work. So, this is the creation of a safe (because protons are released, not neutrons) and promising thermonuclear energy based on the helium-3 isotope; remote energy transmission systems based on electromagnetic induction, radiation or plasma, and efficient systems for converting solar energy into electrical energy; high-speed transport systems, including those for movement in the atmosphere and underwater; robotics and artificial intelligence; life support systems; ultra-high bandwidth communication systems on the order of 100-150 gigabits per second; creation of new composite materials; technologies for optics and thermal control, IT technology based on ternary logic, which can revolutionize the modern understanding of computational mathematics and make computers more efficient.

The only sad thing is that Russia is lagging behind in the space race, time has been lost, there has been no transfer of experience, the country has lost an entire generation of scientists and engineers. Do you remember Hamlet’s horror: “The connection between the times has been broken, can it not be corrected?”?

The law of the development of civilization says that lost knowledge cannot be restored, but it can be recovered. And Russia has repeatedly proven that it can revive and create.

The opinions of experts from banks, finance and investment companies presented in this section must not coincide with the views of the editorial staff and do not constitute an offer or recommendation for the purchase or sale of any assets.


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