Emerging Markets and Space Applications

Emerging Markets and Space Applications

Stella Tkatchova (Interstellar, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-105-8.ch005
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“The Moon is the first milestone on the road of the Stars”

Arthur Clarke


2. Future Market Evolution

Markets evolve through different phases of development; nascent, frenzied, turbulent and moderate. Nascent is when new markets are created, first-time buyers appear and markets are strongly regulated by governments. Frenzied is when markets start to expand and profits raise, while the turbulent phase is when profits of companies are high and there is a stable group of competitors. The final phase is the mature one where profits of companies start to reduce and government withdraw from the process and industry consolidation processes start taking place.

For example, in the early days of the ISS commercialisation, space agencies initiated commercialisation, new markets were created, profits were negative and customers were unknown. Thus, in the early days the ISS markets entered into the nascent stage of market development (S.Tkatchova, M.Pelt 2008) as presented in Figure 1. Due to the low market demand for ISS on-board facilities/services and because of the ISS partners' political and strategic decisions, ISS commercialisation was terminated for NASA and ESA. Nevertheless, the lessons learned from encouraging the creation of ISS self-sustainable markets may be used for the future creation of self-sustainable markets for commercial crew and cargo transportation services.

Figure 1.

ISS markets phases of development (Tkatchova, 2008)


One of the prime lessons learned is that technologies created for research objectives are a technology push and as in the case of the ISS is very difficult to commercialise. Nevertheless, space agencies may encourage private companies to become more actively involved in using space-based technologies by integrating non-space user requirements. Furthermore, they can set up industrialisation policies, offer IPR rights or marketing rights or space brand (i.e. as for example the Cosmode one) to companies involved in these processes, define space-based products and services classification and facilitate access to funding mechanisms for commercial projects.

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