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In focus

A waste of space

The global space economy has grown rapidly in recent years: Morgan Stanley, a bank, forecasts a three-fold increase in the space economy from USD 350bn in 2016 to USD 1.1tn in 2040.

The falling cost of access to space has placed greater emphasis on digital assets, with the exploitation of satellite data and signals playing an increasingly important role as the digitalisation of the economy gathers pace.

However, rapid growth in the space economy has come with rapid growth in space junk, ranging from specks of paint and lens caps to rocket bodies and other large objects. A higher probability of on-orbit collisions could lead to the disruption or loss of vital satellite data – one of the potential unintended consequences of unchecked expansion.


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