News & Media

State of Space 2022: Event Recap

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Eric Stallmer, Executive VP for Government Affairs and Public Policy for Voyager Space, described feeling hopeful for the commercialization of space exploration and the possibility of passenger voyages. This game-changing possibility is an incredible opportunity for growth within the space industry. Stallmer further explained that not only is there room for growth in the commercial space but also in an industry-to-industry setting.

With confidence that the Coronavirus pandemic is behind us, Stallmer noted that the space industry had weathered its effects better than other industries.

“I see a bright future,” Stallmer said.

According to Lisa Campbell, President of the Canadian Space Agency, the growing space sector means more players in space than ever. She expressed eagerness to see an increasing number of startups entering the space market.

“Global space is experiencing exponential growth. The number of space actors and demand for space services is expected to grow faster than ever before,” Campbell said.

This growth will create a need for jobs to support this industry-leading economic growth, as the global space economy is anticipated to reach over $1 trillion by 2040.

Space Is Powered by People

Dr. Janet Kavandi, President of Sierra Space, noted that in this transitional period, employees are critical. From her perspective, working in space isn’t a far-off thought. In an ideal future, work in space will just be another location compared to work anywhere on the ground. She wants to change the mentality that only the mega-rich have access to space. The future of space will have room for everyone.

Dr. Kavandi mentioned her eagerness toward the exponential growth yet to come. Sierra Space is in the process of expanding like never before, as the possibility of commercial space expansion lies before it.

There Is Calculated Risk

With optimization for large-scale growth come unknowns and risks to consider. Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, mentioned his concerns about increasing space debris. He hopes that it becomes a part of people’s concerns as space participation develops, as it could pose a physical risk to safety.

There are potential financial risks as well. Christopher T.W. Kunstadter, Global Head of Space with AXA XL, a leading insurance provider, noted that low-earth orbit (LEO) functions threaten $35 billion in assets, with only 8% of them actively insured. The lack of protected assets is a cause for concern moving forward as space technology plays a role in cybersecurity.

Space Moving Forward

While these risks are present, they are manageable, and they act as a piece to the puzzle that is this boom in the space industry. While this period can be full of unknowns, it brings with it a spirit of optimism for the endless possibilities for the future of our planet and our universe.

The year 2022 is full of opportunities. The space industry is no longer just of interest for astronauts and astrophysicists, yet it is a feat for humanity. Our understanding of space, technology development, and the ability to expand the space economy means a greater understanding of life on our own planet.

Agriculture, climate change, weather disasters and cybersecurity are all topics we understand better with the help of space. It is no longer an individual race to space but a universal effort to make space more accessible for the betterment of humankind.

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