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Citi GPS Report: Space Launch Costs to Fall to $100/kg by 2040, Driving New Industries and Facilitating Monitoring of GHG Emissions, Deforestation, and Biodiversity

Citi released a new Global Perspectives & Solutions (Citi GPS) report titled Space: The Dawn of a New Age. . The report focuses on the commercial space market, where we expect the greatest potential advances over the next few decades.

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“Satellite imagery and better analysis tools for large amounts of data could be crucial in helping nations and companies address many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and biodiversity”

Today’s launch costs of $1,500 per kilogram ($1,500/kg) are about 30x less than the launch cost of NASA’s Space Shuttle in 1981. Reusable rockets and launch vehicles, new materials and fuels, more cost-efficient production methods, and advancements in robotics and electronics systems are combining to drive these costs even lower.

“Launch costs could fall to $100/kg by 2040, and in a bullish scenario, to as low as $33/kg,” says Pavan Daswani, Citi Research’s Europe Technology Analyst. “With lower launch costs, we expect the space economy to generate over $1 trillion in annual sales by 2040, up from around $370 billion in 2020,” he adds. The satellite market, which currently makes up over 70% of the current space industry, will continue to dominate but is expected to undergo a paradigm shift in demand.

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Traditional applications such as video broadcasting will cede to newer applications such as consumer broadband and space-as-a-service. We forecast this will result in an expansion of the Earth Observation market to being more data-driven, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of ~10% from 2020 to 2040, to be worth ~$17 billion in annual sales by 2040. “Satellite imagery and better analysis tools for large amounts of data could be crucial in helping nations and companies address many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and biodiversity,” says Anita McBain, Citi Research’s Head of EMEA ESG.

We expect the fastest growth to come from new space applications and industries, such as space-based solar power, space logistics, and Moon/asteroid mining, among others. These areas could generate ~$100 billion in annual sales by 2040. Investment is also supportive as flows shift from being dominated by government agencies and the wealthiest nations, towards more private funding, particularly from venture capital.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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