Space Mining Market Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by edwardzmusso on March 2nd, 2022

According to the market research report \"Space Mining Market by Phase (Spacecraft Design, Launch, and Operation), Type of Asteroid (C-Type, M-Type, S-Type), Application (Construction, Fuel, and Others), Asteroid Distance, Commodity Resources, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2025\", the space mining market, the overall market is estimated to grow from USD 0.65 billion in 2018 to USD 2.84 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 23.6%. Ongoing and impending space mining missions, increasing investments by private stakeholders in space mining companies, and growing number of government initiatives to frame regulations with respect to asteroid mining are the key factors driving the space mining market growth.

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The spacecraft design segment to dominate the space mining market, based on phase, during the forecast period

A spacecraft is mainly used for various purposes, such as communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, space colonization, planetary exploration, and transportation of humans and cargo. The design of the spacecraft has vital importance as the spacecraft has to sustain in critical or extreme conditions in space, such as microgravity. The spacecraft design segment accounts for a major market share as the spacecraft consists of a number of components, such as spacecraft instruments, altitude control systems, and electric power systems.

C-type asteroids to dominate the space mining market in the near future

Type C asteroids are carbonaceous asteroids, and the surfaces of these asteroids are almost coal-black. These asteroids contain large quantities of carbon molecules, and more usual rocks and metals. These meteorites are chippings, smashed off during collisions between asteroids. These asteroids are dark with an albedo of 0.03–0.09.  As C-type asteroids contain large amounts of ice-water, many missions are likely to target C-type asteroids. For instance, JAXA’s DESTINY mission is expected to be launched in 2022, which would be targeting asteroid Phaethon a C-type asteroid.

The US to dominate the space mining market during the forecast period

As the space industry is undergoing profound transformation and the national budgets of various countries have begun to squeeze and are more dependent on the private sector, it is observed that many countries want the private sector to indulge in space activities. The market growth is attributed to the rise in government initiatives to frame laws for space exploration activities, increased investment of private players in space mining companies, such as DSI and Planetary resources, and growth in numbers of missions to asteroids by NASA and private players. The US government updated US commercial space legislation with the passage of the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act of 2015 (also known as Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act) in November 2015. This law explicitly allows US citizens to engage in the commercial exploration and exploitation of space resources, such as water and minerals. Research activities based on space mining are primarily supported by NASA. NASA has announced many programs for various prospecting asteroid missions, which can gather the data from an asteroid and use it for further mining process.

Major players and space agencies in the space mining market include Deep Space Industries (US); Planetary Resources (US); Moon Express (US); ispace (Japan); Asteroid Mining Corporation (UK); Shackleton Energy Company (SEC, US); Kleos Space (Luxembourg); TransAstra (US); OffWorld (US); SpaceFab.US (US); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, US); European Space Agency (ESA, France); Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan); China National Space Administration (CNSA, China); and Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS, Russia).

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