The satellite boom: business and geopolitics –

From 1957year of Russian Sputnik 1, about eleven thousand satellites. McKinsey consultancy calculates that if existing projects come to fruition, other 70 thousand could go into orbit. Many? Perhaps from the point of view of debris that creates safety hazards: you will need to find ways to limit it and get the rest of the way out. But they don’t seem to be many from an economic point of view. And given the state of the world today, not even on the geopolitical side. McKinsey estimates that Starlink – the constellation of satellites operated by Elon Musk’s Space X – intends to launch 42 thousand new spaceship. The British OneWeb,6,400; Kuiper Systems, a subsidiary of Amazon, 3,400; the Canadian Telsat, 1,600; the american manga, 790 and so on. This is the commercial side of a space economy that in 2020 reached the size of 447 billion dollars, according to the Space Foundation, a non-profit organization, and that will reach billion or more in 2040 according to Morgan Stanley bank forecasts. Instead, governments invested in the sector 92.4 billion dollars in 2021according to research firm Euroconsult: 54.6 the United States, 10.3 The China, 4.2 Japan, 3.9 France, 3.6 the Russia, 2.4 Germany, 2.0 India, 1.5 Italy and UK. About half of the money spent by the Washington government went to NASA civilian operations or commercial companies, the rest to programs by the Space Force, Air Force and other parts of the Department of Defense. As we have seen in recent weeks, satellites play a key role in the war in Ukraine, with the United States and NATO likely to provide the resistance with accurate information gathered from space. From a commercial point of view, however, the most relevant sectors for the use of satellites are services aimed at video consumers; to GPS (which in the US had an impact of 1,400 billion from 1984 until today); for broadband to end users, potentially growing rapidly; collecting data from observation of the planet, for example to study the climate and make infrastructures and cities smart; and for much more, as well as for military uses, growing. The idea that going into space was a waste of resources for some time in the attic.

April 20, 2022, 22:09 – change April 20, 2022 | 22:09

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