Making Business Plans in Space5 min read

With the launch of space tourism, it makes sense that many long-term business plans and projections will include the objective of doing business in space. From marketing space-themed items to making sci-fi shows and novels, thousands of business already participate in the space-related hype. But as the future of humanity’s new relationship with space approaches, doing business more concretely associated with outer space is becoming more common.

Short Flights via Space

In addition to Virgin’s successful commercial space flight program, the company UBS has its sights set on space travel as a means to get quickly from one place on Earth to another. Using rocket technology, travelers could shorten those 10-hour flight times considerably by traveling through space for part of the journey.

UBS predicts the commercial space market will increase to $805 billion by 2030, with “super fast travel” comprising a healthy $20 billion of that travel and tourism market. SpaceX, which focuses on commercial space travel, is already valued at $12 billion today, and its profits are set to eclipse NASA’s entire budget.

Space Tourism: The Commercialization of Space Flight

Who wouldn’t want to view outer space? Space tourism is a rapidly developing market, and even NASA is ready to cash in. It currently costs $250,000 to take a trip to space via Virgin Galactic, and NASA will now let space tourists stay on the International Space Station for $35,000 per night. They’re even developing ideas for a new docking port.

NASA plans to add a space station module specifically meant for space tourists. In a decade’s time, this space tourism fantasy could become a reality to anyone who can afford it. Currently available commercial space flights and plans primarily consist of a quick jaunt to space rather than an extended stay.

Immediately Impacted Businesses

Some businesses are already immediately impacted by space travel. Planning for companies like Boeing, which is best known for creating airplanes for commercial and military use, is already making strides in space technology.

Spaceworthy companies can also invest aggressively in their own business by borrowing against current industries, much as Craig McCaw did. He built a major cellular network in the 1980s by selling his shares in a cable company. Looking to the future, this billionaire saw the next needed thing and financed the framework we use today for our mobile devices.

We can expect to see similar moves by innovative businesses and individuals, but they will need major investment. Blue Origin is an excellent example of a company serving as a vanguard for the new space movement. As time moves forward, more funds will shift towards space-related business obligations and infrastructure development.

Any business heavily invested in rocketry, especially those winning regular government defense contracts, may already be looking to space. Elon Musk’s Falcon rockets are an example, with contract revenue potentially paying for the development of rockets and other advanced technology with both space and defense application.

For businesses that work with technology that could acquire investment via contracts and other funding sources, business analysts can help predict that. They can hire a business analyst to compile, analyze and assess future projections for anywhere between $43,000 and $100,500 per year, which is a minimal expense for companies with aspirations of doing business in space.

Doing Business in Space

As we advance into new technological realms with the commercialization of space travel, businesses need to be set up to handle those needs. In addition to operating within the law, entrepreneurs will also potentially be operating in outer space, which brings with it its own set of rules.

Commercial space travel offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries. While entering this field may seem like a lofty goal, it’s a lucrative prospect. Going forward, businesses must be diligent in maintaining good business practices as they take on more risk as a result of participating in this burgeoning field. Insurance costs alone are worth considering, and they can protect businesses from a variety of challenges including data breaches and general liability.

Business in Space: A Sci-Fi Approach

The original “Star Trek” series might seem hokey at times, but 50 years after its production, we see that gadgets of the imagination on the show are in our reality now. “Star Trek” writers and visionaries predicted 3D printing, tablets, translation technology, virtual gaming arenas, direct communication, and more accurate medicine delivery methods. It even predicted how we ask Google for things using natural language queries.

So what does “Star Trek” have to say about doing business in outer space? In the world of the future, replication (akin to advanced 3D printing technology) could help solve our current problem of not having enough food or other basic resources to take care of everyone. From medicines to simulated meat, replicators can produce enough for consumption.

There’s still room for big business in this show’s universe. The United Federation of Planets uses Latinum, a type of currency that can’t be replicated. This is similar to the development of cryptocurrency. It’s possible that space-related business will see growth with the transfer of this currency which is currently still finding its stability. It’s possible that space-related businesses will grow in value from cryptocurrencies rather than traditional methods.

Currently, a few corporations owned by business moguls dominate the commercial space travel market. As more types of businesses will be needed for space travel, it is possible that a decentralization of funds could create a more democratized, needs-based business model.

Businesses looking for a strong long-term strategy are wise to look to incorporating space into their plans. After all, NASA predicts we’ll be living on Mars eventually. A Japanese company is preparing to develop the moon. Maybe it’s time to think about what businesses will look like once we get there.

Sam Bowman
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Sam Bowman writes about science and tech. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

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