Space more accessible than ever – Report urges companies to unlock potential opportunities in mining, travel.
The first report in Deloitte’s “xTech Futures” series highlights the importance of space for future business strategies even in fields that currently do not see applicability. Split into three parts, the report explores different areas in which businesses can leverage space technology.
On Earth, companies like SpaceX have already begun replacing governments and government agencies like NASA in launching spacecraft into space. According to Deloitte, this field will continue to grow, bringing jobs and opportunities for other companies to benefit from this expansion.
In Earth’s major orbits, especially in low orbit below 1,200 miles from the surface, satellites and commercial space stations provide a multitude of opportunities. Satellite communication, navigation, and observation can solve issues businesses on Earth face, either by providing more accurate data or delivering internet to remote locations. The second field in the near-Earth category is commercial space stations which allow companies to experiment with new technologies in unique conditions, possibly also offering solutions for problems on Earth. Besides existing fields, near-Earth orbit also presents the advent of a new field: Space tourism. Already In its infancy stage, Deloitte projects this field to reach an annual market valuation between $1.8 billion and $3.3 billion by 2035.
Deep Space – The New Frontier
Distant locations, away from Earth present the most opportunities, according to Deloitte. Human exploration of space and access to extraterrestrial resources would benefit Earth as a whole. Critical minerals and other raw materials are important in many areas, driving the costs of some elements like the platinum group metals (PGM) high. An American startup is now testing the extraction of PGMs from asteroids. But also rare earths like terbium have been detected in space. Because rare earths are essential parts of many electronics and clean energy projects, these metals grew in importance over the last decades. Rising demand for rare earths and other critical minerals could soon exceed the available supply. Here, space mining could present a possible solution.
Deloitte is not the first to advocate for space to receive more attention. Already last year, the Federation of German Industry (BDI) urged the German government to not miss out on the opportunities of space, presenting ten strategic and operational recommendations.
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