The space mining market is projected to register a CAGR of more than 20% during the forecast period, 2020 - 2038.
- Government initiatives, like the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act and the Luxembourg space mining law, which were passed as part of the SpaceResources initiative have been the key driving factors for the market during the forecast period.
- Growing investments in the space mining sector and the reduction in space launching costs are expected to propel the market growth in the years to come.
- However, difficulties, like the high costs involved and the lack of technological progress are the restraining factors for the market currently.
Key Market Trends
Government Initiatives to Help the Growth of the Market
Government initiatives are currently helping the growth of the market. The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, enacted by the United States in 2015, had encouraged private companies to undertake mining work beyond Earth. Additionally, the Luxembourg space mining law, which is passed as part of the SpaceResources initiative in 2017, aims to relax restrictions on private companies’ mining operations beyond Earth. Such initiatives have been the key driving factors for the market. After the Luxembourg initiative, more global powers were involved in Luxembourg’s space mining framework. In March 2019, Luxembourg held talks with Russia over a new treaty for the space mining. Thus, the space mining industry is expected to attract more enthusiastic countries in the future, due to the government initiatives.
North America is Expected to Hold the Largest Market Share in the Forecast Period
North America is expected to be the dominant market for space mining in the years to come. Currently, the United States is investing huge amounts in the space mining industry. NASA's OSIRIS-REx traveled to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and may bring a small sample back to Earth for study. The mission was launched in September 2016. After traveling through space for more than 2 years, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived in December 2018 at its destination, asteroid Bennu. As planned, the spacecraft is expected to return a sample to Earth in 2023. Additionally, in October 2018, Deltion Innovations, a Canadian company focused on developing mining technologies and robotics for the resource sector, and announced its partnership with Moon Express, the first American private space exploration firm to have been granted government permission to travel beyond Earth's orbit. The companies may work together for collecting, processing, storing, and using materials found in celestial bodies. Such developments are expected to drive the growth of the market in the region during the forecast period.
Bradford, Moon Express, ispace, and Asteroid Mining Corporation Limited are some of the prominent players continuing their research in the market. The market is in its nascent stage, with most of the progress expected to come in the next decade. Strategic acquisitions and partnerships may help the players to enhance their technological capabilities. In October 2018, Planetary Resources,Inc., a pioneer in the asteroid mining industry, was acquired by ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based blockchain company. Moreover, in January 2019, Bradford, a US-owned space systems manufacturer with locations in the Netherlands and Sweden, announced that it has acquired Deep Space Industries Inc. Such acquisitions are expected to further consolidate the market.
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