The space economy was valued at $469 billion in 2021, up 9% from 2020, the highest growth recorded since 2014, the report said, citing the Space Foundation, a non-profit organization.
The US space agency’s Moon to Mars activities, investments in climate change research and technology, and other work generated more than $71.2 billion in total economic output during the 2021 fiscal year.
Low Earth Orbit (LEO) heavy launch costs have dropped from $65,000 per kg to $1,500 per kg in 2021 – a reduction of more than 95%.
According to the report, private investment in space technology exceeded $10 billion in 2021, an all-time high and a 10-fold increase over the past 10 years.
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Innovations in technology such as 3D printing and computer-aided design of machine parts have been instrumental in simplifying the rocket manufacturing process, reducing costs.
Another reason for the decreasing cost of space exploration is better efficiency. SpaceX’s development of reusable rocket parts has helped to lower costs and increase launch frequency.
Government satellites, usually deployed in far-Earth orbit and costing more than $1 billion, are now being replaced by constellations of low-orbiting satellites that cost about $100 each.