The Space Tourism Market is forecast to reach $1.3billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR 12.4% during forecast period, 2020-2025. According to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, space starts at an altitude of 100 km above the surface of the earth. This is the Karman line where atmospheric lift no longer supports a flying object. Space travel is referred to as any flight operation that takes one or more passengers beyond the altitude of 100 km and thus into space. The tourism industry is experiencing rapid transformation with more customers being interested in space travel. Key trends likely to impact space tourism are the decline in the cost of space tourism along with technological advancements such as focusing on reusability of rockets among others.
- Commercial suborbital spaceflight services are estimated to account for majority of the total revenue share during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
- With the decline in total costs, space tourism demand is estimated to grow during the forecast period, 2020-2025.
- The market is dominated by the North American region, primarily the U.S. The space tourism industry started in the U.S. and it is home for most of the leading industry operators.
Space Tourism Market Segment Analysis – By Type
Commercial suborbital spaceflight services are estimated to account for majority of the total revenue share during the forecast period, 2020-2025. This is primarily due to lower prices associated with suborbital space travel as compared to prices related to orbital space travel. Demand for orbital tourism is expected to be limited due to lack of affordability. Companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are testing suborbital flights that can carry space tourists and researchers at altitudes between 50 and 68 miles. Suborbital tourism is expected to start sooner and grow at a stronger rate, owing to greater frequency and lower ticket prices; while orbital tourism is set to expand the commercial space ecosystem in a significant way alongside government programs.
Space Tourism Market Segment Analysis – By Customers
The travel industry is witnessing massive transformations. The number of individuals interested in space travel is projected to grow during the forecast period, 2020-2025. More than 500 people signed up and were willing to spend around $250,000 each for tickets for suborbital space rides on VSS Unity in New Mexico in 2019. In 2019, NASA announced its plans to open the International Space Station up for tourists. Each trip is projected to be around $60 million to the space station.
Space Tourism Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
The market is dominated by the North American region, primarily the U.S The space tourism industry started in the U.S. and it is home for most of the leading industry operators. High average disposable income and the presence of the highest number of billionaires are some of the key factors boosting the space tourism market growth in the U.S. Most of the industry players are headquartered in the U.S. including Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin among others.
Space Tourism Market Drivers
- Decline in costs
The total cost of a trip into space has reduced significantly from the initial price level of about $600,000 to $250,000. The customer base for this market only includes customers who tend to belong to top of the top 1% income bracket. With decline in prices, new customer groups are estimated to enter the market who are ready to pay high premium price for once-in-a-lifetime space experience. Over the next couple of years, the cost is estimated to be below $2000 per kilogram. The further decline in price is expected to open space tourism to a broader population, increasing the potential customer base.
- Focus on Research and Development (R&D) initiatives
Multiple commercial suborbital spacecrafts with a range of capabilities are currently under development. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation established the Suborbital Applications Research Group (SARG) to raise awareness of the research and education potential of the suborbital reusable launch vehicles under development. Additionally, the National Aerospace Training and Research Center (NASTAR), working with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), implemented a suborbital space scientist training course in anticipation of human-tended experiments on commercial suborbital vehicles. These initiatives are likely to positively impact the global space tourism market.
Space Tourism Market Challenges
- Technical risks
Even though space missions have been carried out successfully for more than half a century, there are a lot of technical risks attached to commercial, high-volume space flights used for space tourism. The chances of occurrence of adverse events such as postponement and cancellation of launch, abortion of flight and loss of life and/or spaceship is very high. Industry operators are required to invest significantly on safety and quality assurance.
Space Tourism Market Landscape
The leading companies in the market focus on product development, R&D initiatives and various other strategies to enhance the market share in the global market over the forecast period. The market is expected to be dominated by major companies such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Space Adventures, EADS Astrium, Armadillo Aerospace, Excalibur Almaz, Space Island Group, Boeing, Zero 2 Infinity and others.
- In May 2020, US-based aerospace company SpaceX launched two astronauts into orbit re-using Falcon 9 rocket that initially carried the crew into orbit. This is considered to be a major technological achievement for the company as reuse of rockets leads to significant cost savings for space exploration.
- In February 2019, Virgin Galactic sent test passenger Beth Moses on Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight. The spacecraft with capacity of six passengers along with two pilots charged $250,000 each.
- Blue Origin aimed at starting its test flights for consumers in 2020, however, this plan has been put on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic.