Does your business need a space plan?

Space has long been lauded as the next frontier, but for certain enterprising companies, that frontier is already here. And these aren’t just companies exploring space travel! Some businesses within the space industry focus on space-for-earth solutions — that is, developing ways to leverage space to improve life for billions of people.

Even if your business isn’t a player in the space industry, chances are more organizations will be impacted by these companies' work. Read to learn what space-for-earth organizations accomplish and how leaders use satellite data to shape future business plans.

Space-for-Earth 101: What You Need to Know

Space-for-earth enterprises use space research to develop better processes for on-the-ground services, such as telecommunications and security satellites. This is different from a space-for-space enterprise, which primarily focuses on space research that will inform how we continue to develop businesses and practices in space. McKinsey predicts that by 2035, these sectors making up the space economy will be worth $1.8 trillion.

Organizations like Spire Global, a space-powered global data and analytics company, leverage satellite data to develop solutions that directly impact climate change and international security issues. While non-space companies have made massive contributions to improving climate-related issues and securing a safer world, much work remains, and efficiency is imperative. Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire Global, explained, “There's just a recognition that you cannot tackle either of those two without space. Or, let's put it this way: you can tackle them orders of magnitude more effectively by leveraging space.”

How Organizations Are Using Space Data

Providing greater internet access to remote or rural areas is a significant achievement in itself, as it provides greater access to information or emergency services to underserved populations. But that’s just one among many innovations and catalysts for good that we’re seeing from the space business. Here’s a selection of other notable and exciting developments on the horizon.

Agriculture: Farmers can better monitor crops and livestock and make changes more efficiently. Satellite data can help them determine irrigation needs, assess weather damage, detect signs of infestation or failing crops, and alter nutrient distribution as needed. This type of information can significantly impact global food security.

Supply chain: Following the flood of supply shortages during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global supply chain is still somewhat in recovery mode. Space technology provides even greater tracking information to manage the transportation of goods by sea, air, and land.

Environmental management: Space-for-earth enterprises can help organizations assess deforestation, monitor wildfires (and spot potential areas of concern), study animals’ migratory paths and patterns, and monitor environmental changes resulting from weather events. This information can be used to take more proactive measures to develop better sustainability practices.

Utilities/Energy: Sensors and satellite data can improve energy management and efficiency for traditional and new energy sources. Satellite imagery can help experts pinpoint the most suitable places to implement wind or solar energy and can also provide evidence of potential issues that could impact power grids.

Satellite technology is more accessible than ever, and investors are increasingly interested in the possibilities that space technology can offer multiple industries. Combine these factors with society’s eons-long interest in what space holds, and the outlook for space-for-earth business appears bright.

Written by

Megan Snyder
Megan Snyder

Senior Editor | CEO.com

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