Earlier this week we attended the ESA Space in Business Growth Network (ESA-BSGN) Space for Inspiration conference at ESA’s technological heart at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands.
An inspirational week in space!
This warm week in July was a very exciting week in space, with a lot happening! The highlight that made major headlines were the first images coming from the James Webb space telescope, while we also saw the first launch of the new European small launcher Vega-C. Two very public and inspiring events, that really fitted the name of the conference ‘Space for Inspiration’ really well.
LEO and Lunar Economy
Nevertheless the conference aimed at a very different type of inspiration. The main theme of the fourth Space for Inspiration conference were the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Lunar economy. Both of these ‘economies’ are upcoming and growing fast, after having been largely created through institutional activities, with the International Space Station as the prime example.
With governments now looking at the Moon and Mars as the next frontiers, LEO is rapidly becoming a field of commercial exploration and exploitation. Almost all succession ideas for the ISS are now commercial and also the satellite business is mostly managed by private entities.
Of course the Lunar economy is not a commercial market yet and some speakers questioned whether there is a Lunar economy at all at this point in time. Nevertheless there are many companies eying the potential opportunities created by new government-driven activities on the Moon, either by working with governments on developing the necessary infrastructure, or working on small-scale, often experimental, activities on their own.
Opportunities in space exploration
The ‘Space for Inspiration’ conference aims to inspire entrepreneurs and companies to be aware of the existing and future opportunities. ESA and other space agencies have developed many support programmes and funding mechanisms to accelerate this development.
We will report on some of these business opportunities in the net weeks. See our report of the two days of the conference in the video below, with Remco Timmermans and Miraslava Kazlouskaya.
More space events in our events calendar
Check out all space events that we think you should attend in our events calendar here!