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Space commerce accelerating

pace has forever captured the imagination of people around the world. Starting in the late 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union recognized the national security importance of space, fueling the initial space race that culminated in the Apollo moon landings.

China’s successful lunar landings and Japan’s impressive return of a sample from the asteroid Ryugu are part of the new race to leverage the economic potential of space, with even higher stakes. Private companies, investors, and over 70 nations are placing huge bets on space technology in order to reap both economic and security benefits. Competition is increasing, especially between Western nations and China.

Our advantage in this new space race is the U.S. commercial space industry. It is critical that we continue to enable American entrepreneurs and innovators, lest we miss the opportunity and potentially lose the race.

The space economy is accelerating. Over 80% of the rapidly growing $423 billion global space economy is commercial. In 2020, the commercial space industry shattered records by launching over 1,000 spacecraft to orbit. Space activities that only existed on paper a few years ago are now being demonstrated and entering operation.  Reusable launch vehicles, 3D printing in space, and in-space refueling are just a few of the developments that have emerged from a diverse community of U.S. entrepreneurs.

Read more: Op-ed | Space commerce accelerating

 

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