Space is the new frontier.
In the Space 1.0 world, it costs NASA (US space agency) about US$2billion to launch 150 tons of payload. And, NASA can do this once a year.
In today's Space 2.0 world, it costs a commercial operator such as SpaceX $2 million for 150 tons of payload. And, SpaceX can do this everyday.
(Math: this means SpaceX can provide the same launch service at 1/365000 of the cost to NASA)
The low costs of Space 2.0 allows a variety of (mostly commercial) players to engage in activities such as space tourism.
For countries such as Australia, the commercialization of space also provides a new economic growth opportunity that is newly opened to middle-powers like Australia (and Taiwan). The space industry is projected to be worth US$4 trillion by 2030.
The current challenges of space is mostly about aligning nation states in terms of laws and norms. In addition to how to best coordinate to avoid accidents, there is also the question of bad actors in space. For example, what do you do when your satellite is hijacked or somebody creates a debris field that may damage your statellites?
A very recent example is the Russian demonstration of its ability to destroy a (its own) satellite in space. (https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-ramifications-of-russias-reckless-anti-satellite-test/)
Finally, Malcolm shares his thoughts on how to engage with Space 2.0 if you are a middle-power like Taiwan.
About Malcolm Davis:
Dr. Malcolm Davis joined ASPI as a Senior Analyst in Defence Strategy and Capability in January 2016.
Prior to this he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in China-Western Relations with the Faculty of Society and Design at Bond University from March 2012 to January 2016, and he currently retains an Honorary Assistant Professor position in the Faculty. He has worked with the Department of Defence, both in Navy Headquarters in the Strategy and Force Structure area, and with Strategic Policy Division in the Strategic Policy Guidance and Strategic External Relations and Education sections from November 2007 to March 2012. Prior to this appointment he was a Lecturer in Defence Studies with Kings College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, in Shrivenham, UK, from June 2000 to October 2007. He holds a PhD in Strategic Studies from the University of Hull as well as two Masters degrees in Strategic Studies, including from the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. His main research focus is on defence strategy and capability development, military technology, and the future of warfare.
- Dr Malcolm Davis personal archive