The Current State of the Global Space Industry
The race between public and private space companies is finally starting to take off. Except, the race isn’t really between the two types of companies as they both rely on each other to speed up the real marathon – advancing space exploration. Whether that general term means being the first company to Mars or something else, the future will decide on how to win this “marathon”. What we do know however is, the top 10 space companies in the world are accelerating their innovations in an exponentially growing market. What is the space industry? Space industry refers to economic activities related to manufacturing components that go into Earth’s orbit or beyond, delivering them to those regions and related services. For reference, both the satellite industry and the space industry are sometimes used interchangeably.
How big is the space industry? The global space industry is currently worth USD 414.8 billion and could grow into a trillion-dollar industry by 2040. This growth is leading to new markets and stellar investments in the top space companies in the world. Recently, the top private space companies received USD 5.8 billion in private investments alone led by leading companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Sierra Nevada. Since 2009, the private investment numbers for the biggest space companies surpassed USD 26 billion. This post is to breakdown who are the biggest space companies in the world innovating in 2020 and benefitting the most from this support. Companies will include both national and private space companies.
- What is the space industry?
- What is the biggest space company in the world?
- What is the best space company?
- How many space companies are there in the world?
- What was the first private space company?
- Space industry stats, trends, and predictions in 2020.
- How much is the space industry worth?
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Global Space Industry Stats, Trends, and Predictions 2020
- Space companies raised a record USD 5.8 billion in private investments last year.
- Space companies have received nearly USD 26 billion in investments since 2009.
- How many space companies are there in the world? Space Angels estimates there are 375 companies within the private space industry, with USD 19 billion in private funding since 2009.
- SpaceX is the largest private space company in the world, and the only private space company capable of returning a spacecraft from low-orbit Earth.
- NASA is the biggest national space organization in the world.
- The Space Foundation reported global space activity to be USD 414.8 billion in 2018, with commercial space revenues representing 79 percent of total space activity.
- The USA space industry was valued at approximately USD 158 billion.
- The space industry could grow to USD 1 trillion or more in the 2040s. In the future, a trillion-dollar space industry will require new markets.
- Four Mars missions are scheduled to launch this year.
- China expects to conduct more than 40 launches this year.
Public or Private Space Companies?
The space race seems to be between private and public space companies and this competition is great for driving stellar results and innovation at an accelerated rate. Companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Nevada Sierra have jumped at the chance to advance space technology to take space exploration to the next level.
The list of private spaces companies seem to be growing at an accelerated rate with SpaceX currently the biggest private space company in the world right now, and already ahead of the curve by securing multiple contracts with NASA and other agencies to get ahead of the space race.
Top Space Companies in the World 2020
Who are the top space companies in the world as of 2020? The following is a list of 10 leading space companies ranked by innovation.
What is the best space company in the world? As we mentioned above, Space companies — led by SpaceX — raised a record $5.8 billion in private investments last year. Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson said, “These companies are graduating and going from concept to scale”. Private space agencies are dominating the list of the top space companies in the world in 2020, and no other space company is dominating more than SpaceX. Outside of possibly NASA, SpaceX is the most well-known space company in the world and ranks number 1 in this list of top space companies in the world. SpaceX — short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. The company is known for its notable founder Elon Musk; with its innovative goal is to be able to reduce the transportations costs of space travel and to eventually colonize Mars.
SpaceX launched the first privately funded rocket into space with the Falcon 1 launch in 2008. SpaceX is a pioneer in the industry among private space companies as it also launched the Dragon in 2010 into orbit and recovered it as well — making it the first company to accomplish this task. Recent accomplishments for SpaceX include the Falcon 9, a rocket with engines that are 50% more powerful than its predecessors. Launch facilities for SpaceX are in Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg, Kennedy Space Center, and Brownsville. Due to its innovation, SpaceX ranks number in our list of the top space companies in the world in 2020. SpaceX is valued at $33.3 billion, investors familiar with the company’s latest round told CNBC on Friday. Tesla’s market cap was $32.8 billion at the end of trading Friday.
- Founded: 2002
- SpaceX Headquarters: Hawthorne, California, USA
- SpaceX Number of Employees: 8,000
SpaceX Products and Services
- Several launch vehicles
- Several rocket engines
- Dragon capsules
- Starship (in development)
- ASDS landing platforms
- Orbital rocket launch
According to this list the best space company in the world maybe SpaceX, but what is the biggest space company in the world? That feat should go to none other than NASA itself. NASA is the first space agency to land a man on the moon, and it accomplished this innovative space feat back in 1969 when it landed Neil Armstrong on the moon, winning the “space race”. NASA is short for The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.
In recent news, NASA has sent rovers to Mars and is also on the task of eventually getting to the red planet like SpaceX. According to NASA, current plans have astronauts going back to the moon on the Orion spacecraft for further space exploration research.
- Founded: 1958
- NASA Headquarters: Washington, D.C., USA
- NASA Annual Budget: USD 22.69 billion
- NASA Number of Employees: 17,373
- Orbital Launches
- Space Exploration
- Space Science
- Earth Observing System
The private space race sounds like a marathon at this point with SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, Blue Origin, and now even Boeing joining this race. With its CST-100 Starliner commercial spacecraft, the company is about as serious as any of the biggest space companies in the world about getting to astronauts into space. Recently the rocket passed all safety requirements and tests needed to successfully launch a new generation of space explorers. Boeing’s space program is also known for designing and building advanced space and communications systems for military, commercial and scientific uses, including advanced digital payload, all-electric propulsion, and 3D manufacturing capabilities for spacecraft that can operate in the geosynchronous, medium-Earth-orbital or low-Earth-orbital planes. Due to its innovation in the space technology industry and being a consistent supplier to many other companies and agencies, Boeing ranks 3rd on our list of the top space companies in the world for 2020.
- Founded: 1916
- Boeing Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Boeing Revenue: USD 76.66 billion
- Boeing Number of Employees: 161,133
- Space vehicles and launchers
- Military aircrafts
- Commercial aircrafts
4. Blue Origin
Like SpaceX, Blue Origin was also founded by another notable billionaire. Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. The main goal for Blue Origin is to make spaceflights accessible to private citizens. Recent accomplishments include moving into the orbital spaceflight technology business in 2014, as a rocket engine supplier but since has devised plans to manufacture and fly its own orbital launch vehicle.
Blue Origin’s innovative rocket engine developments include BE-1, BE-2, BE-3, BE-3U, BE-4, BE-7, and the pusher escape motor. Blue Origin has collaborated with NASA, DARPA, United Launch Alliance, and the United States Space Force in recent years. Blue Origin’s launch vehicles include low-altitude flight test platforms such as the Charon, and Goddard, in addition to New Shepard and New Glenn launch vehicles.
- Founded: 2000
- Blue Origins Headquarters: Kent, Washington, USA
- Blue Origins Number of Employees: 2,500
Blue Origins Products and Services
- Space Exploration
- Space launch vehicles
- Rocket engine development
Ranking 5th on this list of the top space companies in the world is Sierra Nevada Corporation, an American privately held electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, telemedicine, and commercial orbital transportation services. In terms of space technology, SNC is notable for its Dream Chaser crewed spacecraft to hopefully replace the now-defunct Space Shuttle. In 2021, SNC will use United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket as the launch vehicle for Dream Chaser’s cargo configuration.
- Founded: 1963
- SNC Headquarters: Sparks, Nevada
- SNC Number of Employees: 4,000
SNC Products and Services
- Navigation and Guidance
- Information Management
- Electronic Protection
The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities is responsible for space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation. Roscosmos was the first space agency to send a man into extraterrestrial orbit. Today the company is focused on space exploration, and just started construction on the new headquarters in Moscow, Zavodskaya Street 18: The National Space Centre. Roscosmos’ current space programs include ISS involvement, science programs, rocket development, spacecrafts, and space systems. Due to its hands in many aspects of space technology and its history, Roscosmos ranks 6th on this list of the top 10 space companies in the world in 2020.
- Founded: 1992
- Roscosmos Headquarters: Moscow, Russia
Roscosmos Space Programs
- ISS involvement
- Science programs
- New piloted spacecraft
- Space systems
- Gecko Mating Experiment
Ranking 7th on this list of the top space companies in the world is The European Space Agency, an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space. Headquartered in Paris, France, ESA currently employs about 2,200 people in 2020. Through the Internationation Space Station, ESA’s space program includes human space flight. IESA’s main programs include un-manned missions to the Moon; Earth exploration and observation, space exploration, and scientific advancement. ESA is working with NASA to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.
- Founded: 1975
- ESA Headquarters: Paris, France
- ESA Annual Budget:
- ESA Number of Employees: 2,200
Virgin Galactic is the third company on this list founded by a notable billionaire. Virgin Galactic is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group and founded by Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group. The company’s goal was the maiden voyage — a program to fly private individuals into space by 2009, however, this initiative saw may drawbacks, culminating with an in-flight catastrophic disaster. In 2018, Virgin Galactic launched a manned-flight into space that went as far as 56 miles into the atmosphere. Suborbital space tourism is finally on its way as Virgin Galactic plans to move VSS Unity, its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane, to Spaceport America in New Mexico early in the year for a final series of test flights. Virgin Galactic is making a name for itself as one of the top space travel companies around.
- Founded: 2004
- Virgin Galactic Headquarters: Las Cruces, New Mexico
The Spaceship Company ranks 9th on this list of the top 10 space companies in the world. The Virgin Galactic is the sole owner of the company currently, and the company is responsible for manufacturing Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft and will sell spacecraft to other buyers. In 2018, The Spaceship Company is duplicating and testing prototypes of an original design of SpaceShipTwo.
- Founded: 2005
- TSC Headquarters: Mojave, California
- TSC Number of Employees: 430
- Spacecraft and aircraft production
Rounding out BizVibe’s list of the top space companies in the world in 2020 is Ad Astra Rocket Company, one of the leading rocket propulsion companies in the world. The Ad Astra Rocket Company is an American rocket propulsion company dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion technology and is considered the biggest rocket propulsion company in the world. The company is currently headquartered in Texas, USA.
- Founded: 2005
- Ad Astra Rocket Company Headquarters: Texas, USA
This is BizVibe’s list of the top space companies in the world ranked by innovation and leading recent developments pushing the industry forwards. These companies are changing the way for space exploration for the better.
The Future of the Global Space Industry
Led by the biggest space companies in the world innovating at a stellar rate, the global space industry is headed towards becoming a trillion-dollar industry by 2040. As the space race become a marathon for the top space companies in the world– both public and private will start gearing up on what we can accomplish from colonizing Mars to providing accessible space travel for private citizens; the manufacturing of rocket propulsion technology and making general space travel cheaper in the long run. The top space travel companies in the world are receiving historical support and funding primarily so that we can move towards this better future.