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Space travel business not expected to slow anytime soon

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jane King looked at the growing business of space travel and previewed what’s to come during her appearance on Daybreak on Monday.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX broke its own annual orbital launch record last year and is looking to pick up the blistering pace in 2022 to and average rate of one flight per week.

The company successfully completed 31 launches in 2021, which beat its previous record of 26 in 2020.

For context, SpaceX represented about one-fifth of the world’s successful orbital rocket launches last year — roughly the pace of China.

Jeff Bezos made news when he, his brother, actor William Shatner and a crew flew into space.

Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, recently bought Honeybee Robotics, best known in the space industry for developing robotics systems — notably drills and other mechanisms — for use on space missions.

In 2020, global space-related activities generated $447 billion, with commercial work accounting for almost 80% of it.

Sinead O’Sullivan, a self-described “interplanetary economist” at Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, says spending money on space is actually a way to increase the economy on earth very, very efficiently. O’Sullivan notes, for example, that every dollar the government spends in the space industry translates to about $50 in societal value, such as skilled jobs and new products or services.

This year should be a big one for space exploration with a pair of massive rockets — both more powerful than the Saturn V that flew the Apollo astronauts to the moon — getting ready to fly as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Artemis mission.

The mission aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2025.