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Brief Published: 17 Feb 2021

Tech Giants Set Sights on Space for Commercial Opportunities

SpaceX is set to be the first company to send private citizens into space this year

In 2021, big tech companies are looking to space for commercial opportunities and ramping up interstellar investments. Stylus looks at what to expect in 2021 – think space tourism developments, new-age cloud capabilities and intergalactic brand collabs. 

  • Pursuing New Priorities: In early February, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that he’s stepping down as the company’s CEO, in part to spend more time on his rocket company – demonstrating big tech’s increasing interest in intergalactic exploration.
  • Commercial Opportunities Emerge: In October 2021, private Californian company SpaceX plans to send its Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station for a stay of at least eight days. It will be the first private mission into orbit, the first private mission to the International Space Station, and the first time SpaceX has sent private citizens into space.
  • Forging Interstellar Cloud Services: Microsoft and SpaceX announced a collaboration in October 2020 to create an interstellar cloud service. The project will deploy new cloud computing services using fleets of low-orbit spacecraft, as well as traditional higher-altitude satellites, to serve both government and commercial space businesses. It’s a savvy move; analysts project that overall revenue from space-related cloud services could reach up to $15bn by the end of the decade (Wall Street Journal, 2020).
  • Man on The Moon: Also in October 2020, Nasa and Nokia announced a new partnership to put a 4G network on the moon. The aim is to improve data transmission, allowing real-time navigation of lunar geography and the streaming of high-definition video. Long term, they are looking to “validate the potential for human habitation on the moon”.