The successful launch of the Artemis I mission has private space interests excited—as they see the doors opening for new economic opportunities.
- NASA successfully launched its first unmanned Space Launch System last week, taking the first step in returning the U.S. to the moon.
- NASA’s planned launches of Artemis II through Artemis V—scheduled between 2024 and 2028—are creating new opportunities for private space to collaborate with the agency and help get to the moon too.
- Private corporations played a major role in the launch of Artemis I and new opportunities are arising for the next four planned moon missions.
- The World Economic Forum reports that the space economy, including 90 countries and hundreds of private interests, is worth $469 billion.
- Private industry has invested $781 million toward lunar exploration, Axios reports.
Why it’s News
NASA has taken the lead in returning humans to the moon and that means that private interests are going to help with the journey. The federal agency has invited private companies into a collaboration to work together toward mutual interests.
Government agencies will be the primary customer for space materials but private space corporations and major firms like SpaceX are getting close to being able to produce the technology to launch moon missions. In the meantime, SpaceX announced last Tuesday that it is contracted with NASA for a support role in Artemis IV in 2027.
NASA’s eventual goal is to create a long-term manned moon base, relying on support from private companies like ispace, Astrobotic, and more to resupply cargo.
“Supporting private industry is baked into NASA’s Artemis program and is part of the space agency’s broader move to buy services from private industry in Earth orbit and eventually on the Moon. The Space Launch System rocket was built by multiple contractors, including Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The space agency also has contracts with private companies to build spacesuits for the lunar surface and SpaceX is building a lander for the Moon. NASA is also working with companies that are developing the technology needed to mine the Moon for resources,” says Axios.