Investments in Space Exploration to Reach $31B by 2031

Space Exploration outlook. Credit: Euroconsult.

Space Consultancy firm Euroconsult has said that there’s a big transition happening in space exploration over the next decade.

Space exploration had been dominated by a very small number of large-spending space superpowers since the 1950s. The recent opening of the space market, however, has meant that there’s growing collaboration between a variety of actors, including both governments and private enterprises. This will help global governmental investments in space reach $31B by 2031. The details of Euroconsult’s findings are in their new report, “Prospects for Space Exploration.” 

Euroconsult’s release said that “more countries than ever” are getting involved in space exploration. They highlight Australia and the United Arab Emirates, whose space investments are 59% higher than they were 10 years ago. 

The report says that the most funding will continue to go towards space transportation programs, reaching $10.7B by 2031. They point to the human lunar landers (like SpaceX’s Starship) and the Orion/Space Launch System as a major reason, since returning to the Moon is a big driver of investment right now. Euroconsult points to the Artemis accords as a signal for “wide-scale international collaboration” and a “wave” of investments that will result in continued space-focused public-private partnerships in the coming years.

Euroconsult also notes China’s development of the International Lunar Research Station, in partnership with Russia, as a key driver of space-focused investment by the China. The combination of orbital infrastructure and space transportation is expected to represent over 58% of their space exploration budget. 

Euroconsult Space Exploration outlook
Space Exploration outlook. Credit: Euroconsult.

Euroconsult Principal Advisor, Miguel Ouellette, said that “Our forecasts indicate that lunar and cis-lunar activities will provide a major focal point to catalyze investment in the space exploration market over the coming years. In fact, moon exploration will act as a ‘stepping stone’ towards future Mars endeavors, and government investments in this application are projected to drastically increase by over 4.6x in the next decade when compared to the previous one.”

He also said that while private companies “are expected to play an increasingly important role in these developments…governments will still remain crucial in order to support the industry, especially as a customer of commercial solutions, as well as in terms of sharing costs, risks, and responsibilities for space exploration endeavors.” 

This echoes comments made previously by Euroconsult, where they also forecasted an “explosion” in the satellite market over the next decade, as well as recent comments by Euroconsult Canada Managing Director Nathan de Ruiter at the Space Bound 2022 conference. While there are likely “economic headwinds” coming over the short term, as Space Capital pointed out in their own report, over the medium-to-long term the expansion of the space market is likely to continue. This may be reinforced by the growing military interest in space, thanks to both the demonstrated value of space-based reconnaissance in terrestrial conflict and the rising concern over anti-satellite weaponry, as national security spending is resistant to business cycle effects. 

To find out more about the report, and to read a free excerpt, check out Euroconsult’s “Prospects for Space Exploration” here.

About Craig Bamford

Craig started writing for SpaceQ in 2017 as their space culture reporter, shifting to Canadian business and startup reporting in 2019. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists, and has a Master's Degree in International Security from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He lives in Toronto.

Leave a Reply