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Prospects for Space Exploration

Prospects for Space Exploration

An economic & strategic assessment of the space exploration sector  | Published September 2018


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Prospects for Space Exploration is an econmic and strategic assessment of the space exploration sector, including an analysis and benchmark of government and commercial space exploration programs worldwide. The report identifies existing and upcoming new entrants in space exploration, global trends related to space exploration, and ananlyzes collaborative undertakings for exploration.

Highlights of the report

Global government investment in space exploration totaled $14.6 billion in 2017, a 6% increase compared to 2016. Fifteen leading space programs worldwide are estimated to contribute to this global investment, with the U.S. accounting for 74% of the total. Global expenditures have grown in the past five years driven by programs in leading countries and new countries investing in space exploration. In a still constrained budgetary environment, global space budgets for space exploration are expected to grow to over $20 billion by 2027.

Future funding for space exploration is expected to grow to support the ambitious plans of the next decade. Nonetheless, national investments will remain constrained by their public finance environments that should dictate realistic and pragmatic investment strategies. Space exploration is attracting not only the interest of an increasing number of governments but also the private sector; start-ups to large companies seek to exploit the commercial potential of exploration activities. Space agencies are increasingly seeking to leverage partnerships with the private sector to achieve their goals more cost-effectively while fostering sustainable space exploration.

Over the past ten years, 19  planetary exploration missions were launched by six countries/agencies (the U.S., ESA, Russia, Japan, China, and India). Over the next decade nearly 80 missions are expected to be launched, of which 63% will correspond to government missions. The next decade will also see the rise of commercial exploration initiatives, with close to 30 commercial missions forecasted by 2027, primarily driven by lunar initiatives. In terms of applications, Moon exploration is expected to account for the majority of missions to be launched by 2027, as lunar exploration becomes the focus in the strategy of private and public stakeholders. A total of 18 missions are anticipated to be launched for other deep space exploration, while the remaining missions will be dedicated to Mars exploration.



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