Private Moon Landing Finally Ushers in Era of Humanity’s ‘Space Economy’

Odysseus, the lunar probe, has successfully landed on the moon, making its builder, space company Intuitive Machine, the first private company ever to do so. Following Apollo 17 in 1972, five countries – the United States, Russia, China, India and Japan – promoted moon landings as national programs, but private companies have emerged as key players in space. The company that launched the latest lunar landing craft is a space exploration company founded by an Iranian entrepreneur. It is the dawning of the space economy era pioneered by private companies using space to create economic value through the power of efficiency.

Until now, space has been a field in which nations have developed technology for security purposes. However, the private era began when Elon Musk opened his company SpaceX in 2015 and succeeded in launching a recoverable recycled rocket. It costs NASA, funded by taxpayers, $40,000 per kilogram (approximately 2.2 pounds) to send an object into space, whereas SpaceX was able to do it with a reusable rocket for only $951. This revolutionary development has dramatically reduced the cost of rocket launches, allowing space to be transformed from a security and military environment into a place of economic and industrial development.

As the economic value of space increases, governments around the world are turning their attention to space again. Some predict that space will lead the way for the fifth industrial revolution after the fourth industrial revolution involving AI. While thousands of cluster satellites orbiting around the earth are taking charge of internet, communication, and location services, Musk’s SpaceX has proven how efficient it is in Ukraine. Furthermore, industry is promoting ideas such as using the moon, a treasure trove of resources, to develop rare materials, build a base for high-tech production, and create an intermediate base for space exploration.

Currently, SpaceX leads the field of private space launch vehicles, controlling 90% of the market, but Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and the European Union’s Airbus are all locked in competition. The emerging pace industry represents future growth that our country cannot afford to miss. We are participating in the United States’ manned lunar landing program Artemis, and last May, we became the seventh country capable of launching a satellite on our own. The successful launch of Nuri proved the value of domestic space technology.

Hanwha Aerospace is developing next-generation rockets using government space technology, and domestic startups are continuing to take on technological challenges. After a painful start, the Aerospace Administration will get off the ground. As the emerging space industry grows, we will have to move quickly to catch up with the era of “New Space” and the Aerospace Administration and private companies must come together to keep pace.

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About Krystal Endo 12 Articles
Hello! My name is Krystal and I've been studying Korean for almost 10 years now. My Bachelors is in Linguistics, with a Minor in Korean and TESOL. I currently live with my husband, 2 cats and 2 snakes. I'm excited to translate for Watching America!

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