Space Makers … global internet, asteroid mining and life on Mars
January 5, 2016
“Market Makers” create and shape markets in their own vision.
They are not content to play the game of marginal gains – competing on small differences or price discounts, in mature and stagnant markets. They see the future world, they look for the new growth markets, and in particular those which are still emerging, which they can shape to their own advantage. They are “gamechangers” in the biggest sense, in that they create new games (markets), with new audiences (customers and needs), new rules (process and behaviours), and new possibilities (perceived value and profit potential) for business success.
“Space Makers” focus on the most exciting growth markets of space.
Whilst it might seem a long time since Neil Armstrong stood on the Moon, or even since NASA’s Space Shuttle made its final flight, the commercial opportunities for space are real and now – be it for scientific research into new medicines, satellites that can connect the world, or hypersonic travel to replace aeroplanes.
Here are 3 of the most phenomenal “Space Makers” who are creating and shaping the fast-emerging space markets to their advantage:
Providing global internet access via satellite
Airbus, Bharti, Coca-Cola and Virgin are just some of the investors who have together pledged over $500m to create the world’s first global satellite-based internet service. OneWeb is building a network of 700 satellites to take broadband access to every corner of our planet – including cars, aircraft, and homes in the most remote locations. SpaceX and O3B are also developing similar concepts. Read more about OneWeb
Asteroid mining for precious metals and water
Explorer James Cameron is one of the entrepreneurs behind the asteroid mining company that plans low cost robotic space exploration to find commercially viable asteroids near Earth. From these, they hope to extract precious metals and water (which can be converted to rocket fuel and oxygen). It launched its first rocket from the ISS in 2015, and also sees a huge market in space refuelling. Similar companies include Deep Space Industries and Moon Express. Read more about Planetary Resources
Private space travel and the mission to create life on Mars
Elon Musk’s $1.2bn space business is even more exciting than his Tesla cars, and is already proving a commercial success having won the contract from NASA to transport satellites into space, and transport cargo to and from the ISS. Musk has bigger ambitions, specifically to colonise Mars. His reusable space craft is rapidly bringing down the cost of space travel, and creating an ecosystem of services and providers, including Solar City, his solar power business that could sustain life on Musk’s Mars. Other space companies include BlueOrigin and Virgin Galactic.
Potentially the most practical form of space travel
The Space Elevator is the most promising Space Transportation system on the drawing boards today, combining scalability, low cost, qualify of ride, and safety to deliver truly commercial-grade space access – practically comparable to a train ride to space. Rocket-based space launch systems are inherently limited by the physics of rocket propulsion. More than 90% of the rocket’s weight is propellant, and the rest is split between the weight of the fuel tank and the payload. It is very difficult (if not impossible) to make such a vehicle safe or low cost. A target cost of $1,000 US per kg is proving to be impossible to reach. In comparison, airliners charge us about $1 per pound, and train transportation is in cents per pound. Find out more at the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) which is composed of individuals and organizations from around the world who share a vision of humanity in space.
Other “Space Makers” include
- Accion Systems: electric propulsion systems for small satellites developed at MIT, removing the risk of blow ups.
- Bagaveev: designing and testing 3D printed Aerospace rocket engines and nano satellites into low-Earth orbits.
- PlanetLabs: satellite imaging based on a network of over 100 small satellites to document and monitor life on Earth.
- SpacePharma: providing micro-gravity environments for scientific research, from agrochemicals to new vaccines.
- WorldView: building relatively cheap high-altitude balloon travel for leisure, research and education.
I am currently researching my next book about Market Makers:
- Gamechangers … introduction to my recent book on disruptive innovation
- Market Makers … new strategies for creating and shaping markets
- Innolab … fast and collaborative strategic innovation process
If you’d like to suggest ideas for inclusion in my next book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org