The worldwide robotic spacecraft market has recorded considerable growth in the recent years and will continue to procure substantial proceeds ahead, attributable to the hefty investments and efforts being pumped into space explorations and research in countries like the U.S, India, and Russia. Space robotics plays a critical role in the present and future development of mission-critical machines that can extend the human capacity to explore or operate in space by overcoming human limitations in challenging space environments.
Here’s a quick overview of the top four trends that are likely to influence robotic spacecraft industry dynamics in the years to come:
Significant research and development efforts
Researchers in space stations are constantly designing and testing various methods to innovate new machines that can assist astronauts with robotic spacecraft missions, exploration, construction, and other tasks in challenging space environments. For instance, two NASA interns are reportedly developing a range of soft robot actuators that have the potential to reach the moon, Mars or beyond.
These robots can move like living organisms, as they are built using extremely flexible materials, and can support numerous motions that conventional robots aren’t capable of accomplishing. The outcomes of rigorous research and development initiatives pertaining to robotic spacecraft missions are certain to help expand the space robotics market size in the future.
Increasing dependency on robotic arms
Industrial robotics market has now expanded substantially, driven by the need for automation in practically most business verticals. In this context, it would be wise to state that robotic arms have evolved to become an immensely significant tool across all sectors including space aeronautics. For that matter, In simple terms, a robotic arm helps astronauts in lifting heavy objects in space, thereby attempting to ease a part of the complications in robotic spacecraft missions. In fact, the complex and demanding environment of a space station requires more advanced handling and maintenance methods that can go beyond human capabilities.
Some of the greatest inventions in this segment include the Canadarm series of robotic arms, one of which recently caught the Dragon cargo spacecraft comprising 5,500 pounds of supplies for an investigation to take place on the ISS. The increasing deployment of robotic arms on space shuttle orbiters to handle gigantic payloads is complementing this segment, which in turn is supporting the growth of robotic spacecraft industry size.
The emergence of AI in planetary rovers
The planetary rovers are space exploration devices which are used for taking pictures, collecting planetary samples, and traveling across the surface of a planet or celestial body. However, rovers still depict some technical issues, stalling human dependency on the technology. Through advanced AI, researchers are developing deep learning algorithms to overcome challenges in the current system.
Furthermore, the adoption of AI in space exploration has helped several developed programs in improving the directional determining processes in rovers. Some organizations have already started considering the benefits, for instance, NASA is set to use AI software in its Mars 2020 rover to better manage the science workload. Hence, successful integration of AI technology will overtly benefit the space transportation segment, thereby escalating the global robotic spacecraft market growth in the coming years.
The future prospects of space tourism
People have been dreaming of vacationing in space years before the first space mission actually commenced. Lately though, space robotics companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin have transformed something that once seemed merely fictional into a possible reality. These firms have been investing heavily and are constructing spacecrafts for recreational purposes.
The commercialization of space tourism has been the primary goal of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which recently unveiled plans for a lunar lander that aims to send equipment and astronauts to the moon in 2024. Meanwhile, the Virgin Galactic has sold nearly 600 tickets worth $250,000 for its first commercial flight. Increasing efforts to make space tourism a reality will require a ceaseless supply of advanced machinery and software, that will support the expansion of robotic spacecraft industry size.
As the quest for understanding and exploring further potentials in the cosmic space continues, space explorations will be an ongoing pursuit for researchers and organizations confronted by a large number of possibilities, making robotic spacecraft market a lucrative avenue over the foreseeable years. A research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. even estimates the overall space robotics market to be worth more than $3.5 billion by 2025.