What will the space industry look like in 2030? Read the perspectives of 30 space industry leaders.

30 Voices on 2030 – The future of space brings together the different perspectives of 30 senior leaders from the space industry around the world – from heads of agency, engineers, and lawyers to entrepreneurs and politicians – who paint a vision of what we can expect.

This report explores the potential of space to open up to new businesses and customers, create new products and services and speak to our sense of curiosity and desire to understand the world beyond our planet. Organizations across different industries – and not just traditional space industry players – that lack adaptability and imagination will be left behind.

Pivotal point

With the world at a “pivotal point for space”, the global space industry is expected to be worth U.S. $600 billion by 2030.

A central international governing body will also need to be established to manage space data, which will increase in volume and value. Much of the data collected will be analyzed by leading edge analytics in-orbit to reduce the volume of data that needs to be transmitted to Earth and stored. AI will also be used in deep space missions to overcome communications delays due to distance and help pre-empt and correct problems.

Credit: James Vaughan (Used with permission) http://www.jamesvaughanphoto.com/directory-aerospace-defense-illustrations


Partnerships: public and private sectors

By 2030, the report predicts, manufacturing in space will be real and viable and there will be assets such as mines operated remotely on the Moon. Rather than space programs being purely government-led, there will be more and more partnerships between the public and private sectors, with Government as a customer of civil space business.

While people won’t be living on the Moon quite like the Jetsons, with space travel remaining costly, there will be an increased human presence in space. This will enable more research, such as medical research in zero gravity.

The report also predicts that the human genome may be altered to further support humanity’s sustained exploration of space.

Credit: CORDS

Challenges ahead

At the same time there will be challenges in terms of sustainability: a moratorium on space debris and recognition of the importance of the ecology of space for future generations.

“Today’s ‘small space startups’ will be the sector leaders in 2030,” says Mike Kalms, Partner-in-Charge, Space & Defence Industry, KPMG Australia.

“Already many multi-national businesses are investing in the space sector and understanding how it can add value to their business on Earth,” Kalms notes in a KPMG press statement. “By 2030 we expect many businesses across all industries to have dedicated space teams and resources. The majority of space companies will be valued in the billions of dollars and operate across multiple countries. Global levels of cooperation will help enhance economic and political ties between nation states.”

Clutter in the cosmos.
Credit: Used with permission: Melrae Pictures/Space Junk 3D

Kalms explains that businesses are already putting sustainability at the forefront of what they do on Earth.

“We anticipate the same will be applied to space activities in the years ahead,” Kalms adds. “Debris in space has long been an area of concern, which will only escalate. We will need international agreements, and ways to recover and recycle decommissioned satellites. Legislation and treaties will need to evolve as space becomes its own legal jurisdiction.”

NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 24 flight engineer, looks through a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station. A blue and white part of Earth and the blackness of space are visible through the windows.
Credit: NASA


In summary form from the report, here are 30 predictions for 2030.

Humans will live, work and holiday in space

— Space travel will be a collaborative multinational venture
— Living in space will be easier but not easy
— Zero gravity – new medical conditions and new treatments will be created
— Many will experience space – but not all will go
— You will know an astronaut
— The human genome will change to support human deep space exploration

Confirmation of the existence and extent of life on Mars, whether ancient or current, will benefit human exploration. Here an exobiologist examines what appears to be a porous relic of a hot spring that has fallen from the canyon wall.
Credit: NASA/Pat Rawlings

Deep space exploration

— We’ll successfully mine the Moon for water by 2030
— We may finally discover evidence of life in space
— We’ll operate assets remotely on the Moon like mines in the Pilbara
— Growing and eating food in space will be commonplace
— Virtual companions will assist with the mental health challenges of long space travel
— We will look back in time more than 4 billion years

Space business models

— Every business will be a space business
— The leading space businesses of 2030 are start-ups today
— Long-established terrestrial industries will build a presence in space
— Government will be a customer of civil space businesses
— Multinational co-operation, while challenging, will drive the peace dividend
— Manufacturing in space will be real and viable

Credit: ISECG


Sustainability in space

— Sustainability in space will benefit sustainability on Earth
— There will be a ‘CFC moment’ in space which will trigger a moratorium on space debris
— Space ecology will be imperative for our millennial generation
— Space will get its own legal jurisdiction
— Space will be forced to accelerate quickly as an operational domain for armed forces
— A Masters of Space Ecology will be offered at universities

Space data comes back to Earth

— Space data will become completely commoditised
— An international regulatory body for space data will be established– AI will be commonplace in space
— Data will not be owned – rather shared
— Governments will conduct their census from space
— Personal privacy will be challenged

For the full report – 30 Voices on 2030: The future of space – Communal, commercial, contested – go to:


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