European Human Space Transportation: Technological, Social and Strategic Benefits

European Human Space Transportation: Technological, Social and Strategic Benefits [Aug/2023]

Major space players exercise their essential sovereign capability and soft power through human space exploration enabled by domestic human space transportation systems. Space exploration encompasses a variety of constituent elements while directly contributing to generate knowledge, innovation, and economic growth through industrial productivity and new markets.

A study by the consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was conducted to assesses the future market for human space transportation that would be addressable by European providers over 2028-2040, characterises the economic, strategic and technological benefits of developing autonomous European human space transportation capabilities, and evaluates the impacts and cost of opportunity of not developing autonomous European human space transportation capabilities.

The study concludes that the development of several technologies and concepts would boost the European industrial landscape and would significantly reduce Europe’s dependence on foreign capacities for the access to HST-related and adjacent technologies. The development of autonomous European capacities would not only support the economic development of industry but would also lead to additional revenues generated from commercial and foreign institutional demand, that would be captured by European HST services. Furthermore, autonomous, and independent European HST capacities would reinforce Europe’s sovereignty and strategic positioning in a domain directly impacted by the geo-political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine and would strengthen Europe’s role in future collaborative missions for Human Space Transportation and exploration beyond LEO. Overall, the report estimates:

  • €5.9 to €9.9 Billion generated by European Industry thanks to autonomous European HSTS capacities;
  • Under a scenario assuming that Europe does not develop its own HST system, between €1 and €1.7 billion would be spent outside of Europe for the acquisition of European Institutional seats from non-European HST service providers;
  • €3.6 (+30 seats) to €6 Billion (+50 seats) captured by the European Industry within European commercial and Rest of the World commercial and Institutional demand;
  • Autonomous and independent European HST would enable a secured access to exploration launching capacities which could be obtained by leveraging existing raw skills and knowhow in Europe for the development of a complete end-to-end HST system;
  • 25 critical technologies should be developed by Europe to achieve independent and autonomous European HST capacities;
  • 140 novel technologies should reach a higher level of maturity to support the development of European HST capacities.

The full study report can be accessed in the restricted area here (please log in before).

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