Status of the Lunar Marketplace from Chad Anderson
Our friend and former Board member Chad Anderson has an article, Cold Surface, Hot Market: Commercial Lunar Gains Traction, over at SpaceAngels.com that provides a good overview of the current state of the lunar marketplace. Chad primarily discusses NASA’s possible roles in a notional public/private partnership as well as announced plans by both Astrobotic (a Space Angels investment) and Blue Origin.
Regardless of how commercial a cislunar economy may become, it is increasingly clear that it will start out with several public/private partnerships:
As they are with many other space market segments, NASA is a key industry partner for companies looking to carve a niche in commercial lunar services. The agency has expressed strong interest in developing the capabilities of private space ventures, and is officially interested in using commercial partners to deliver payloads to the Moon’s surface. NASA posted a Request for Information (RFI) to the Federal Business Opportunities website on May 1st, which will remain open to submissions until June 2nd. While it is uncertain whether a formal solicitation for contract proposals is on the horizon, this is certainly a positive step towards commercial lunar partnership.
And that there will be multiple players:
There are a number of companies vying for a near-term contract with NASA, including Space Angels-funded venture Astrobotic Technology. Astrobotic, Blue Origin, and some GLXP contenders will play a crucial role in demonstrating the commercial value of lunar services and logistics, while simultaneously reinforcing the potential of the broader commercial space industry.
The Foundation will be putting some actual numbers behind these notional cislunar markets in the coming year. If you are interested in helping out let us know.