The Key to Winning in Today’s Space Race – It’s Not All About Innovation

SAP NS2 |  March 2020

Let’s imagine a connected world, where each person can access a vast communications network. How about a meteorological system that visualizes changes up to the nanosecond to weather patterns across the globe? Think about how we could track and fight wildfires using more advanced global sensor data and analytics. A bit farther out, what could we discover in our own galaxy if we had more eyes in the sky?

These possibilities are no longer fantasy. We are in a revolutionary period in space exploration and technology—led by small satellite technology.

Explosive growth in the small satellite services industry

The expansion of the small satellite services industry is based on an ever-increasing demand for connection and location-based services.

According to a study prepared by Markets and Markets, the projected small satellite market’s compound annual growth rate is a formidable 29.03% between 2017 and 2022. This creates a wealth of new capabilities—all delivered by cost-effective small satellites.

“Years from now, space historians will reminisce that this era was a watershed moment within the global competition for the development of space and the success or failure of subsequent business endeavors.” – Steve Nixon, President, SmallSat Alliance

The use of these small satellites is driving a brand-new space race. The main difference between the 1960s race and now, is that today there is a much wider range of participants. The lower price tag to build and launch small satellites is lowering the main barrier to entry.

According to the Nanosats Database, 45.5% of all small satellites belong to private sector businesses, 37.3% to educational facilities, and only 10.9% to public sector space agencies or the military.

The result of so many more participants is even more capability. Entrepreneurial spirit and technology improvements in miniature computers, sensors, and other technology allows vendors to deliver access to space technology at a lower cost, covering a much broader landscape.

The possibilities are endless when so many great minds work together. Whether exploring space, or collaborating on research, the sky is no longer the limit.

And yet, such rapid growth makes the task of finding the right solutions and making informed purchases a daunting one. There isn’t a global standard for buying and selling small satellite services.

Defining success

Success in this market is driven by the same steps as any venture:

  1. Create a service or product
  2. Monetize that service or product
  3. Invest your returns to deliver these services long-term

As we have seen in the retail sector, even the best products can fail if they can’t reach their customers. Regardless of whether a vendor’s data or services are revolutionary or innovative, they won’t be successful if they can’t be sustained commercially.

With such an emergent technology market, finding the right solution and reliable vendor can be just as hard. Without a centralized marketplace, government agencies looking for innovative technology could miss out on opportunities to strengthen their defense or tactical operations.

At the same time, innovative ideas may never launch, if they can’t get to market.

How do we solve this problem?

The solution is a Small Satellite Marketplace that connects both buyers and sellers in an engaging multi-channel/multi-language experience.

This marketplace should lower barriers to entry into the marketplace, making it easy to set up and establish a full scale commerce system, allowing satellite providers the ability to get back to what they do best – innovation.

The Small Satellite Marketplace is a boon to buyers and sellers, creating both a showcase and forum for the best data, products, and services mankind can deliver. The result is yet another big step in technological innovation and a giant leap forward into space.


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