In 2020, the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) launched the Space Economy Initiative, a new UN platform charged with bringing together emerging and non-spacefaring countries to strengthen their space economies. The space economy is expected to equalize the power struggle and foster global economic competition. On one hand, commercial space capabilities will become ubiquitous, and on the other, even militaries will find it increasingly difficult to surprise their enemies. Meanwhile, the rules, competitive practices and norms that have developed around the internet could serve as models for how the governance of space could emerge in the future, including also cyber security.
Few things spur innovation more than competing billionaires with flexible budgets and a tenacious ambition to make history.
This is absolutely true of the modern-day space race. Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first private business to transport humans into orbit in 2020. Soon after, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin ventured into zero gravity. Their efforts have reduced prices and heralded a new era of space activity, making the universe more accessible than ever before.
Explorers and scientists have always found inspiration in space. The pursuit of space has created new technologies and substantially expanded humankind's scientific understanding in fields ranging from physics to chemistry, material sciences to engineering. It has also enhanced our daily lives in numerous ways – the European Space Agency believes that for every Euro spent in the industry, society gains six Euros1 (slightly lower than that estimated by another a Harvard study).
Until recently, space was synonymous with government spending: the tremendous costs and dangers involved rendered the field unavailable to commercial participants.
Today, significant technological advances and a new entrepreneurial spirit are fast developing a new space economy. Because of frontier technologies and the data revolution, the industry is seeing the emergence of new private actors who see unrivaled business prospects in space exploration and exploitation, including cybersecurity in space.