Orbital Economy

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2050 ORBITAL ECONOMY As the technologies for access to space improve and become more cost effective, new space-based industries will sprout leading to the emergence of an off-Earth economy. By 2050, the Orbital Economy —comprised of businesses involved in taking passengers into space, producing microgravity-based products, mining near-earth asteroids, and harnessing space solar energy— will be a multi-trillion dollar off-Earth economy, generating millions of jobs and vast marketplaces for exchange. OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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Opportunity: There are 1.2 million tones of helium-3 enough to supply the energy needs of the Earth for at least a thousand years.

Opportunity: There are tens of millions of asteroids in space containing all kind of ores and valuable minerals which can be extracted.

Benefits: Establishing a permanent base on the moon is an essential step towards future manned missions to Mars and deep space.

Benefits: Mining asteroids in space will provide sustainable resources on Earth and will allow extended human presence in space.

$375 Trillion $3 Trillion

Oil Energy Equivalent

100,000 tonnes Earth ≈ 200 t/yr

Opportunity: The microgravity changes the structure and behaviour of matter, which can be used to produce all kind of new materials.

Opportunity: Space solar energy is 10 times greater than on Earth and can be collected to produce power regardless of weather/daytime.

Benefits: The rise of robotics and 3D printing will slash the cost of operations in space, and thus bringing the space industrial revolution.

Benefits: Harnessing clean solar energy from space could eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and contribute to the environment.

OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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Achieving affordable access to space will accelerate the development of space-based industries like space tourism. OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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Spaceports on Earth:

Active rocket launch sites

Commercial spaceports under development Commercial airline flight times

Suborbital spaceline flight times 45 min

30 min

Commercial spaceports projected or planned Orbital spaceline flight path 30 min

3h Tokyo - London in 90 min

New York - London in 45 min

LA - NYC in 12 min

Opportunity • Launch Market Credit: SpaceX

Vision • Space Lines

Challenge • Space Access Credit: Earl Pineda

Credit: Virgin Galactic

Reusable Rocket Launchers

Laser Beam-Powered Spacecrafts

Suborbital Space Tourists

• The space launch market is w orth $10 billion annually (an average of 60 launches a year).

• The challenge is to develop viable plans to create a hypersonic suborbital spacecraft for the transportation of passengers and cargo.

• Initially, due to the high cost, would be limited to high-paying tourists, micro satellite delivery, very urgent cargo; or for fast-response EMS.

• Advanced research in lightcraft technology to bring new approaches to the development of microw ave/laser beamed-power propulsion.

• By 2030, space touris m could be $100 billion market. As of 2016, Vir gin Galactic and XCOR have sold +1,000 tickets for its planned flights.

• Space launches are expected to grow with the demand for satellites (over 900 to be launched by 2020) and space tourism ─projected to be a billion dollar industry by the end of decade.

OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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Harnessing clean solar energy from space will eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy. OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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The Orbit of the Moon

Credit: NewScientist

Opportunity • Solar Energy

Challenge • Space Solar Power

Credit: Mafic Studio

Vision • Wireless Earth

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Space Solar Pow er Plants

Sun Tow er Power Satellites

Microwave Lightcraft Orbiters

• Solar radiation in space is about 5 to 25 times stronger than on the Earth's surface and it can be collected uninterruptibly ─ 24h a day.

• The challenge is to develop viable plans to establish space power plants to collect the solar energy and then beam it dow n to Earth.

• In the future, w ir eless energy w ill be available everywhere, beamed from space through a global netw ork of solar power satellites.

• Space solar power is a source of energy that has the potential to solve the w orld's energy needs and greenhouse emission problems.

• Advanced research in w ir eless power transfer technologies based on microwave radiation (radio) or laser beaming (optical).

• Everything from laptops to electric vehicles will be capable of running and re-charging themselves w ithout ever being plugged in.

OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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Mining asteroids in space will provide humanity a source of sustainable and infinite resources for Earth. OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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ACCESS TO INFINITE RESOURCES Credit: Planetary Resources

Challenge • Asteroid Mining

Opportunity • Asteroids

Vision • Asteroid Belt

Credit: Deep Space Industries

Credit: Scott Manley

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Near Earth Asteroids

Asteroid Fuel Depots

Asteroid Mining Colonies

• One asteroid could contain 30 million tons of nickel, 1.5 million tons of metal cobalt and 7,500 tons of platinum. The platinum alone w ould have a value of more than $150 billion.

• The challenge is to develop viable plans to establish asteroid-based mining operations to extract ores, metals and other resources.

• The asteroids selected for establishing mines will eventually become comfortable habitats. As these habitats grow, the Asteroid Belt w ill be turned into a band of life, circling the sun.

• There are about 10 billion asteroids greater than 100 m in diameter in our solar system.

• Advanced research in robotic s and artif icial intelligence to enable novel applications and new work techniques such as self-mining.

OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

• The Asteroid Belt will be the largest economy and trade area of the entire Solar System.

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Manufacturing in space will lead to a new industrial revolution that will radically transform the economy and society. OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

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Credit: National Space Society

Opportunity • Microgravity

Challenge • Space Fabrication Credit: Deep Space Industries

An orbital Space Manufacturing Station (MSS) Credit: Armin Schieb

Vision • Self-Building Credit: Bryan Versteeg

Credit: NASA

Defect-Free Crystal Structures

Microgravity 3D Printers

Self-Building Space Structures

• Because of the weightlessness environment, chemical and metal products can be mixed and blended evenly (e.g. intermetallic alloys).

• The challenge is to develop viable plans to establish space manufacturing facilities for the processing of non-terrestrial materials.

• Crystalline structures, like proteins or minerals, can be artific ially grown into complex shapes. (e.g. high purity medicines and vaccines).

• Advanced research in 3D printing technology to enable new capabilities for the design and manufacturing of space-based products.

• Self-replicating factory robots w ill be able to dismantle asteroids and transform them into large-scale space structures (e.g. satellites, space stations or even spaceships).

OR B I TA L EC O N OM Y 20 50

• Large-scale space manufacturing will lead to the development of a space-based economy.

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Homo Spaciens Foundation is a space organization devoted to advancing humanity's quest to become a multiplanetary species.


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