Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote in a Feb. 28 opinion piece published on the Orlando Sentinel that it is possible for the global space economy to reach $1 trillion by 2040. He cited five ways the U.S. can foster growth in the space industry, now valued at $400 billion.
Efforts by the industry to cut costs through shared services and other reusability and sustainability initiatives could help increase the number of American satellites from 800 to 15,000 over the next five years. Ross noted that disrupting traditional commercial models through technologies such as GPS could help drive the space economy.
Other steps that could enable growth include diversifying options for funding and insurance, enhancing public safety from hazards like space debris and nurturing domestic talent through training programs. Ross said the government is working on space economy-related efforts such as the Commerce Department’s forum with the insurance industry and space situational awareness firms.
He said the Trump administration is seeking to remove regulatory barriers to space commerce. The administration directed the Departments of Defense and Commerce to establish a civil agency interface delivering space situational awareness information to private companies.