Global Space Economy

Space Economy : Unleashing the Potential of the Global Space Economy New Opportunities and Innovations


Over the past few decades, we have seen an increased shift towards the commercialization and privatization of space activities. Traditionally, space was viewed as the exclusive domain of governments and national space agencies. However, private companies are now playing a growing role in providing services to both government and commercial customers.

Satellite communications, Earth observation, and launch services in particular have seen significant growth in the private sector. Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are developing reusable rockets with the goal of dramatically reducing the costs of access to space. On the satellite side, Maxar Technologies, Planet, and BlackSky provide commercial imagery and earth observation data to a wide range of customers across various industries.

The rise of NewSpace companies focused on developing low-cost solutions for satellite deployment and crewed missions to orbit has ushered in an new era for commercial utilization of space. SpaceX’s success in using its Falcon 9 rocket to deliver payloads to the International Space Station and to geosynchronous transfer orbit at costs dramatically lower than any other provider opened the door for more commercial and private sector-led activities in space. This has helped enable new applications and markets that were previously uneconomical due to the high costs associated with access to space.

The Growth of Space Economy

We are witnessing the emergence and rapid expansion of large commercial satellite constellations as another major driver of growth in the Space Economy. Companies like SpaceX, OneWeb, and Amazon are each deploying networks of hundreds or even thousands of satellites to provide global broadband connectivity. SpaceX has already launched over 2,000 satellites for its Starlink constellation, providing internet services around the globe. OneWeb launched its first satellites in 2019 and plans to have a constellation of 648 satellites by 2023 to offer global coverage. Meanwhile Amazon plans to deploy their Kuiper constellation of over 3,000 satellites to provide similar services.

These massive low earth orbit constellations represent multibillion dollar infrastructure projects and presage a new era of global satellite communications. By some estimates, the value of the satellite internet market alone could reach $1 trillion or more by 2040 as connectivity needs continue expanding rapidly around the world, especially in underserved areas. Beyond connectivity, other applications like earth observation, environmental monitoring and space-based internet of things are expected to see strong growth enabled by easier access to space on affordable launch vehicles and growing constellations

Growth of the Downstream Space Economy

While launch and satellite services represent major growth areas, the downstream sectors tapping into satellite data and applications are also contributing significantly to the emerging global space economy. Industries like agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, insurance, and natural resource management have increasingly come to rely on satellite-derived data and analytics. For example, satellite imagery is used to monitor crop health and yields, assess damage following natural disasters, and help with tasks like cadastral mapping. The proliferation of smaller high-resolution satellites and new radio frequency, optical and radar payloads opens up opportunities for many precision applications.

New space applications and services are being developed across diverse fields like transportation, logistics, maritime, aviation, energy and more. For instance, satellite-based automatic identification systems (AIS) are used for ship tracking and analytics. Satellite navigation and timing supported by constellations like GPS, Galileo and Beidou provide crucial capabilities for services like autonomous vehicles, telecommunications and financial transactions worldwide. The space tech  is working on developing new positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities as alternatives and complements to traditional satellite navigation systems.

Based on various estimates, the global space economy encompassing government and commercial investment in both upstream and downstream sectors is projected to grow to well over $1 trillion per year by 2040. As new space infrastructure like mega-constellations and low-cost launch services drive down costs, this will enable an ever wider range of commercial and government applications. It seems clear that space activities will play an increasingly prominent role across our global society, firmly establishing the emergence of a robust and dynamic space-based economy.


1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it