Headlines > News > Study Predicts $1.5 Billion Market for Commercial Lunar Services over Next Decade

Study Predicts $1.5 Billion Market for Commercial Lunar Services over Next Decade

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:18 pm
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Playa Vista, CA (July 16, 2009) – A study performed by the Futron Corporation, an aerospace consultancy based in Bethesda, MD, predicts that companies such as those competing for the Google Lunar X PRIZE will be able to address a market in excess of $1 billion over the course of the next decade.

The results of the study resonate with the expectations of the X PRIZE Foundation, which conducts the $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch privately funded spacecraft capable of exploring the lunar surface. The market projection demonstrates the breadth of commercial opportunities that companies are likely to pursue either during or after the conclusion of their Google Lunar X PRIZE missions.

The Moon, Credit Space Fellowship

The Moon, Credit Space Fellowship

The study, which involved a detailed examination of the 19 teams already registered in the competition, as well as a robust analysis of potential lines of business, identified six key market areas: hardware sales to the worldwide government sector, services provided to the government sector, products provided to the commercial sector, entertainment, sponsorship, and technology sales and licensing. Taken together, the study projects the value of these markets to be between $1 – $1.56 billion within the next decade. Additionally, some Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors have set their sights on additional market sectors that fell outside of the scope of the Futron report, which could result in an even higher total market size.

The breadth and the size of these projected markets are attributes of a new era of lunar exploration quite different from the Apollo era. “The glories of the first Moon race were accomplished with only two real developers and two real customers—the national space programs of the United States and of the Soviet Union,” said William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation. “Now, we’re entering a new paradigm – Moon 2.0 – that features an enormous variety of innovators each trying to serve a wide range of customers. National space programs such as NASA’s will certainly benefit, but so will academia, the general public, and the economies of those nations where teams step up to meet the challenges of lunar exploration. That breadth of impact will make Moon 2.0 much more sustainable and longer lasting than the first era of lunar exploration”

“We examined a wide range of markets that teams could address, both those that exist today and those that could be enabled by low-cost commercial lunar exploration,” said Jeff Foust, a senior analyst with the Futron Corporation. “If one or more teams are able to win this prize competition, they will be able to serve markets potentially far larger than the prize purse.”

For more information about the Google Lunar X PRIZE and the teams currently registered in the competition, please visit http://www.googlelunarxprize.org. High resolution photographs, video and other team materials are available upon request.

The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that challenges and inspires engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The $30 million prize purse is segmented into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize and $5 million in bonus prizes. To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth. The Grand Prize is $20 million until December 31st 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15 million until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation. For more information about the Google Lunar X PRIZE, please visit www.googlelunarxprize.org.

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured the world’s attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight.  The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation, with the support of its partner, BT Global Services, is creating prizes in Space and Ocean Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy and Environment, Education and Global Development.  The Foundation is widely recognized as a leader in fostering innovation through competition.  For more information, please visit www.xprize.org.

Something that bugs me already for a while here on ISF: would it be possible to add a link to the source to the end of each news article? That would make it so much easier to get additional information on the topic, as well as to find out who is behind a press release in case it comes from outside the "regular channels".
Thanks for the comment, we are looking into it as we want to make it automated so we don't need to add it under every article by hand as we will probably forget it some times.

For a lot of post we won't be able to give you a link because we get a lot of press releases by e-mail but we will try for the ones we get from the Internet.
anyone know where to find this study? i looked on futron's website but they haven't posted it or a summary yet.
Nope i have no idea, we got this by mail and there was no extra info.
Thanks for the reply Matt!
Well if a press release comes by e-mail than a small comment "received by email" will do just fine. I do understand, that you probably don't have the time to find a link for every press release that comes via e-mail.

But even if it is news from like ESA or NASA they often provide additional media (like high res images and videos) and a link to the site would make it much easier to find that stuff, if it isn't featured on their main pages ;)

Although I do have to say, that your new website with the possibility to add pictures is a great step forward from the old design. I really like the new ISF design! :)
It has been fixed, i have sent you a PM about it with more info.

You can check you PM's when you visit the forum.
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