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5 Companies Propelling the Space Economy 


5 Companies Propelling the Space Economy 

5 Companies Propelling the Space Economy 

Vantage Updated by Updated Wed, May 8 07:44

What is the Space Economy? 

The Space Economy encompasses a vast array of activities and resource utilisation that contribute to human well-being through space-related endeavours, as defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). This includes satellite communication, Earth observation, space tourism and more aimed at unlocking the potential of space for the benefit of humanity.  

As the space sector evolves alongside technological advancements, new services and applications emerge, expanding its reach into sectors such as meteorology, energy, telecommunications and urban development. Go in-depth into what is the space economy.   

In this article, we will explore five of the most influential companies propelling the space economy forward, each making significant contributions through their unique areas of focus.  

The 5 Key Players  

  1. SpaceX 
    1. Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX has revolutionised the launch industry with its reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. 
    2. Prior to SpaceX’s entry into the market, launching payloads like scientific instruments, communication equipment and supplies into space was a prohibitively expensive process. By developing fully and partially reusable launch vehicles, SpaceX has dramatically reduced launch costs, making space more accessible for a wider range of customers. This has triggered a surge in satellite constellations for internet access, Earth observation and scientific research.  
    3. At the core of SpaceX’s mission lies a bold vision: to make life multi-planetary. Their ultimate goal is to enable human colonisation of other planets, with Mars as a primary target. But how has SpaceX achieved such prominence? Let’s delve into their achievements and activities.  
      • Rocket Manufacturing and Launch Services: 
        • SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets. Their workhorse vehicles include the Falcon 9 and the powerful Falcon Heavy.  
        • The Falcon 9 has become synonymous with reusable rocket technology. By successfully landing and reusing its first stages, SpaceX has dramatically reduced the cost of space access.  
        • These rockets have delivered payloads to orbit, resupplied the International Space Station (ISS) and facilitated satellite launches.  
      • Spacecraft Development:
        • SpaceX operates two main spacecrafts: 
          • Dragon: The Dragon spacecraft has been instrumental in cargo resupply missions to the ISS. It autonomously docks with the station, delivering supplies and scientific experiments.
          • Starship: The ambitious Starship project aims to create a fully reusable spacecraft capable of carrying both crew and cargo to destinations beyond Earth. It promises to revolutionise space travel and exploration. 
      • Starlink and Internet Connectivity: 
        • SpaceX’s subsidiary, Starlink, is revolutionising global internet connectivity. By deploying a constellation of small satellites in low Earth orbit, they provide high-speed internet access to underserved and remote areas.  
        • Starlink’s vision is to create a global network that bridges the digital divide.  
    4. Why invest in SpaceX? 
      1. With its disruptive approach to reusable launch vehicles and its ambitious Starship program, SpaceX is well-positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for deep space exploration and heavy payload launches.  
      2. Note: This company is not publicly traded.  
  2. Blue Origin  
    1. Blue Origin is an American aerospace manufacturer, defence contractor, launch service provider and space technologies company.  
    2. Established by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000, Blue Origin focuses on developing reusable suborbital and orbital launch vehicles. Their New Shepard rocket successfully completed its first crewed mission in July 2021, carrying Bezos and three others on a brief suborbital flight.  
    3. While Blue Origin’s primary focus currently lies in suborbital space tourism, their New Glenn orbital launch vehicle promises to offer competitive pricing for satellite launches in the future. Their venture into space tourism opens doors for a burgeoning market, potentially paving the way for more affordable and accessible space travel experiences.  
    4. Here are some of the Blue Origin’s notable achievements and activities:  
      • Suborbital Flights with New Shepard:  
        • Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket has successfully conducted multiple suborbital flights, demonstrating its reusability and safety.  
        • These missions have carried scientific payloads and provided valuable data for future space tourism endeavours.  
      • Lunar Aspirations with Blue Moon:  
        • Blue Origin unveiled the Blue Moon lunar lander, designed to transport cargo and crew to the Moon.  
        • Their vision includes establishing a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.  
      • New Glenn Orbital Rocket: 
        • Currently in development, the New Glenn rocket aims to provide reliable and cost-effective access to orbit.  
        • It will compete in the commercial launch market, potentially revolutionising satellite deployment and space exploration.  
      • Educational Initiatives and STEM Advocacy:
        • Blue Origin actively engages in educational programs, inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts.  
        • They promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and encourage students to pursue space-related careers.  
    5. Why invest in Blue Origin? 
      1. While Blue Origin’s primary focus is currently on suborbital space tourism, their New Glenn launch vehicle offers promise for the competitive launch market. Additionally, the burgeoning space tourism industry holds significant potential, and Blue Origin is a major player in this emerging market. 
      2. Note: This company does not offer publicly traded stocks. 
  3. Rocket Lab 
    1. Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab specialises in launching small satellites into orbit using their Electron rocket. This lightweight, electron-beam-powered vehicle caters to the growing demand for deploying constellations of smaller satellites, offering a dedicated launch platform for such missions [1].  
    2. With this rapid turnaround times and flexible launch schedule, Rocket Lab provides a cost-effective option for companies venturing into the small satellite market, facilitating rapid innovation in areas like Earth observation and internet access from space.  
    3. Here are some of Rocket Lab’s notable achievements and activities: 
      • Ātea-1 Suborbital Launch: 
        • In 2009, Rocket Lab achieved New Zealand’s first rocket launch into space with the suborbital sounding rocket Ātea-1. It took off from Great Mercury Island on 30 November 2009 [2].  
        • This achievement marked the beginning of Rocket Lab’s mission to make space more accessible by developing affordable and efficient rockets for payload deployment [3].
      • Electron Rocket:  
        • The Electron rocket, designed and manufactured in-house at Rocket Lab’s facilities in Auckland, is an all-carbon-composite rocket.  
      • Small Satellite Launch Services:  
        • Rocket Lab recognised the growth in the small-satellite industry and initiated the Electron program in 2012.  
        • They offer dedicated rides for small satellites, allowing negotiation of launch times, orbits and affordability (around NZ$27 million). 
        • By providing timely and cost-effective launches, Rocket Lab empowers scientific monitoring, space-based internet, crop monitoring, weather reporting, maritime data and search and rescue services.  
    4. Why Invest in Rocket Lab? 
      1. The small satellite market is experiencing significant growth, driven by the increasing demand for constellations of smaller satellites. Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket caters specifically to this market, offering a dedicated and cost-effective launch platform. 
      2. Investors seeking exposure to a company capitalising on the small satellite boom might find Rocket Lab attractive.  
      3. Investors interested in buying the Rocket Lab (RKLB) stock can do so on the NASDAQ exchange.  
  4. OneWeb [4] 
    1. Established in 2012, OneWeb is a constellation operator aiming to deliver global internet access through a network of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. This constellation will provide high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity to underserved and remote regions around the world.  
    2. OneWeb’s ambitious project, facilitated by launches from companies like SpaceX and Arianespace, signifies the potential of space-based internet infrastructure in bridging the digital divide and bringing connectivity to billions.  
      • Combining Satellite Connectivity [5]
        • Eutelsat (a French satellite operator) and key OneWeb shareholders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of creating a leading global player in connectivity.  
        • The merging of Eutelsat’s 36-strong fleet of GEO satellites with OneWeb’s constellation of 648 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, of which 428 are currently in orbit.  
        • This transformational transaction creates a global leader uniquely positioned to capture the fast-growing connectivity market with complementary GEO/LEO offerings.  
      • Financial Profile and Value Creation:  
        • The combined entity is expected to have a compelling financial profile: 
          • Potential for double-digit revenue and EBITDA CAGR over the medium to long term.  
          • Eutelsat’s strong cash flow generation supporting continued expansion into the LEO market through OneWeb’s next-generation satellites.  
          • More than €1.5 billion potential incremental value-creation after tax (net of implementation cost) from revenue, capex and cost synergies.  
      • Broadband Services in Antartica:  
        • Eutelsat OneWeb has been providing broadband services on a trial basis to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) since January 2024.  
        • The service offers LEO satellite connectivity to the BAS-operated Rothera Research Station, with data speeds of up to 120 Mbps. [6]  
    3. Why Invest in OneWeb? 
      1. OneWeb’s global satellite constellation has the potential to revolutionise internet access by providing connectivity to underserved regions. As the demand for ubiquitous internet grows, OneWeb could become a major player in bridging the digital divide.  
      2. Investors interested in companies enabling global connectivity solutions might consider OneWeb.  
      3. Investors interested in buying the Eutelsat (ETL) stock can do so through a broker offering access to the Euronext Paris stock exchange.  
  5. Planet Labs 
    1. Planet Labs is a company that provides daily satellite imagery and analytics of Earth’s landmass. 
    2. Founded in 2010, Planet Lab uses its comprehensive data for a wide range of applications, including monitoring agricultural yields, tracking deforestation and assessing disaster zones [7]. This data empowers governments, businesses and NGOs to make data-driven decisions regarding sustainable practices and disaster response, showcasing the power of space technology for environmental monitoring and resource management. 
    3. Here are some of their achievements and activities:  
      • Daily Earth Imaging 
        • Planet Lab’s mission is to image the entire Earth’s landmass every day.  
        • They capture high-frequency satellite imagery, making global change visible, accessible and actionable. 
        • By democratising access to satellite data beyond traditional sectors, Planet Lab has revolutionised Earth observation.  
      • Web-GEO Platform and Analytics 
        • Leading Web-GEO Platform: Planet Lab provides the leading web-GEO platform with the highest frequency satellite data available.  
        • Foundational Analytics: They offer foundational analytics to derive insights, empowering users worldwide to make impactful decisions.  
      • Providing High-Frequency, Global Coverage: 
        • High-Frequency, Global Coverage: Users can monitor the world with up-to-date, daily satellite data.  
        • Analysis-Ready Data: Clean, consistent and harmonised data allows users to focus on solving core problems including ensuring consistency across variables, standardising terminology and focusing efforts on addressing problems rather than dealing with data inconsistencies. 
        • Seamless Access & Integration: Modern APIs and cloud architectures enable application and a global community of users.  
        • Trusted Partner: Planet offers professional services, exceptional customer support and a global community of users.  
    4. Why Invest in Planet Labs? 
      1. The data collected by Planet Labs’ Earth observation satellites is invaluable for environmental monitoring, resource management and disaster response. With increasing focus on sustainability and climate change, the demand for such data is likely to rise. 
      2. Investors seeking exposure to companies providing critical data for environmental solutions might find Planet Labs attractive.
      3. Investors interested in buying the Planet Lab (PL) stock can do so on the NYSE. 


The contributions of SpaceX, Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, OneWeb and Planet Labs towards opening new possibilities for scientific research, communication and exploration are undeniable.  

By focusing on reusability, low-cost launch vehicles and innovative satellite applications, these companies are making space more accessible and commercially viable. Their efforts are not only expanding the space economy but also paving the way for advancements in scientific research, environmental monitoring, global communication and potentially even human exploration of the solar system.  

For those intrigued by investing in the space sector, now is the ideal moment to engage, as the space economy continues flourishing with groundbreaking innovations that will redefine our relationship with space and its vast potential.  

Continue your exploration of the space economy here.  


  1.  “Rocket Lab – Science Learning Hub”.  https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/2431-rocket-lab. Accessed 28 March 2024.
  2.  “New Zealand’s first space launch  – Science Learning Hub”. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/386-new-zealand-s-first-space-launch. Accessed 28 March 2024.
  3. ’Rocket Lab – Science Learning Hub”.  Rocket Lab — Science Learning Hub. Accessed 28 March 2024.
  4. “About Us – Eutelsat OneWeb”. https://oneweb.net/about-us/our-story. Accessed 28 March 2024.
  5.  “Eutelsat and OneWeb to combine: a leap forward in satellite connectivity – Eutelsat OneWeb”. https://oneweb.net/resources/eutelsat-and-oneweb-combine-leap-forward-satellite-connectivity. Accessed 28 March 2024.
  6.  “Eutelsat OneWeb brings broadband to Antarctic research station – Developing Telecoms”. https://developingtelecoms.com/telecom-technology/satellite-communications-networks/16541-eutelsat-oneweb-brings-broadband-to-antarctic-research-station.html. Accessed 28 March 2024.
  7.  “Planet FAQ – Planet”  https://www.planet.com/faqs/. Accessed 28 March 2024. 

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