Hi everyone, and welcome back to Max Q. I hope everyone has a restful holiday season and a celebratory new year. Thanks again to all Max Q readers, whether you are one of my many questions or a recent subscriber. I’m so glad you’re here.
I’m going to deviate from my usual newsletter format. Instead, at the risk of ending 2023 with a sore face, I want to make some predictions for the upcoming year and what I think it will bring to the space industry.
2022 may have been this The biggest year in space in recent memory — at least since 1969. The historic pace of SpaceX, the launch of the Space Launch System and the return of the Orion capsule, the big tech demonstrations, ispace’s fully private mission to the moon…it’s been a big year.
is having a a lot of Very much looking forward to it, and next year may even surpass this year as the biggest year yet for the space industry. But many questions remain, especially regarding the short-term economic outlook, ongoing geopolitical instability and (ahem) some announced timelines that may or may not materialize. Here are two predictions – click the link above to read the rest.
1. More pressure to go public
As more and more next-generation vehicles come online, the pressure on the launch market seems to be mounting. We’re not just looking at heavy launch vehicles — like SpaceX’s Starship and United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan — but also a range of small and medium launch vehicles aimed at low cost and high cadence. These include Relativity’s Terran 1, Astra’s Rocket 4, ABL Space Systems’ RS1, Augsburg Rocket Factory’s One launcher and Orbex’s Prime micro launcher. As we mentioned above, the space industry has notoriously tricky timelines (a caveat that applies throughout this article), but at least a few new rockets are likely to fly for the first time in the next year.
Proving that new cars drive down prices and build up inventories means more launches and dates are available for private and government attention — and existing players will have to work hard to maintain the leads they’ve built.
2. Great developments in the UK, China and India
The international space scene will continue to evolve. While Europe has a lot to look forward to, we’ve already set our sights on the UK, China and India.In the UK we look forward to seeing the country’s first space launch using Virgin Orbit “Start Me” task From Spaceport Cornwall.We are also expecting a lot of activity from ISRO as well as launch startups Tiangen There. China has a great 2022 — including completing its own space station in orbit and sending multiple astronauts — and we don’t expect a slowdown next year as the country seeks to keep pace with U.S. industrial growth.
Exactly how the fragmentation of private space beyond a handful of major launch providers and locations will impact the industry is hard to say, but it will certainly help diversify the projects and stakeholders that go into orbit.
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