6 Industries Ready For Interorbital Transport To Mars Today
Established Industries Ready To Service The Next Pioneers.
Profile Mars Ready Customers
Satellite Industry – Mapping & Monitoring.
Research Industry – University & Startup Rideshare.
Outdoor Industry – Clothing & Equipment.
Food Service Industry – Long Life & Supply Extension.
Microagriculture Industry – Scalable Vertical Farming.
Mining industry – Sampling, Safety & Steel.
Interobrital Opportunity Summary
H. Industries (YT pitch) plans to offer weekly launches of a 2,000kg transport capacity for $7–10m depending on speed, one orbital cycle (98w) or two (196w). Transport launches will be delivered to Mars in time with the planets next orbital pass or following one, safely decelerating into the destination swarm and being placed in a holding orbit for customer handover.
A low cost shipping service enables a greater number of market entrants to use the system, expanding the number of services and products that could be utilised in orbit. This service offering plan follows the low cost airline model and is priced to maximise service utilisation.
The primary benefit of realising this service is increased safety for crewed missions. Having a supply depot established prior to arrival and the certainty of regular resupply allows the limited space on crewed missions to prioritise survival systems and enable larger crews. Larger crews are inherently safer as a greater variety of skilled personnel can be deployed to address any problem encountered. This principle was followed by Antarctic explorers at the turn of the last century and is the key to permanently occupying Mars by the end of this one.
Profiling Mars Ready Customers
Interorbital freight transport customers must meet several requirements to ensure that the cargo arrives safely. Every customer journey will involve several stages of service and technical reviews before determining that a business and cargo is Mars-ready and safely transportable. The ideal customers for first launches are small sat operators and universities as these customers are space ready now. Later launches will have greater clarity of crewed mission schedules and be aimed at customers supporting their requirements.
Encouraging new orbital market entrants such as steel fabricators by providing low cost transport for habitat expansions or vertical farm framing will allow a variety of businesses to look at crew supply contracts and increase service utilisation. Established businesses such as small sat customers can expand their service offering to multiple orbits, leveraging parts of their existing customer base and business model to commoditise an entirely new planet worth of data.
The general customer journey will be explained for the small sat industry in the next section while the following sections briefly describe the interorbital opportunities and specifics of other Mars-ready industries.
Satellite Industry - Mapping & Monitoring.
The small sat industry is a dormant Mars-ready market, projected to grow substantially larger in the coming decade based on its meteoric growth towards maturity in the last ten years. This market was valued at $3.6b in 2018 and is expected to reach $15.7b by 2026 for designs under 500kg. The industry has flourished with technology improvements in battery technology, camera components and software improvements. Google Mars and a satnav mesh system with todays early warning environmental monitoring technology could be a life saver for an astronaut escaping an incoming dust storm. A number of challenges need to be addressed like relativity-timeloss for triangulation (due to the new orbital context the satnav system is in) but these are all minor adjustments to already functional systems.
H. Industries will launch rideshare transfers that use existing small sat bundling and deployment techniques already tested and proven in terrestrial orbit. This will deliver cost advantages by combining payloads from multiple customers. We look forward to working with one of the growing number of launch rideshare coordination businesses to manage the offering.
Customer Journey: Small satellite operator monitoring environmental data.
Small sat operator evaluates customer desire for Martian environmental data, determining growth demand from governmental departments and private industry users. Offering a second environmental data set is estimated to increase customers and provide a second revenue stream as there may be limited customer crossover.
Small sat operator evaluates configuration changes required for Martian orbital context or engages H. Industries for assistance. Business determines that a Mars deployment is a cost effective opportunity.
Small sat operator engages ride-share partner or H. Industries directly for low cost transport option to trial Mars deployment.
Freight cargo must address prelaunch conditions then complete testing and certification prior to launch schedule allocation.
Freight cargo is delivered to a specified orbit then the small sat operator enables onboard systems, beginning operations for environmental monitoring and data transmission.
Small sat operator measures customer demand and partnership opportunities as an early market entrant, potentially modelling service expansion to solidify market share.
This customer journey shows the major steps for a Mars-ready business to expand their service offering to a new destination. For non-orbital market entrants, this journey will become familiar in time but initially require several rounds of technical workshops for payload certification. This journey is the archetypal path to expanding orbital service utilisation and will see satellite swarms and constellations rapidly expand across our solar system.
Research Industry - University & Startup Rideshare.
The research sector is the second Mars-ready industry laying (mostly) dormant. The rapid reduction in launch cost services has allowed universities to build smallsat’s from off the shelf parts and send student projects into terrestrial orbit. From student small sats to major government research rovers, the research industry commercialises technology developments and data value. Providing another planet worth of data and a cheap transport service should spur further research and inspire the next generation of space industry pioneers.
Outdoor Industry - Clothing & Equipment.
The addition of satellites to Martian orbit is simple, the next step of business development will focus on the human requirements of habitation: shelter, clothing and food. Transport of equipment and clothing is simple due to the lack of complication in these objects, removing the chance of damage from acceleration to high g-force.
People will always need warm coats, tools and structurally sound shelters to protect them from the elements, on Mars these concerns are amplified by the high radiation environment and temperature extremes. To address these needs we must either develop higher technology materials & designs that can be taken with astronauts on the initial missions or simply strengthen what we already have if the mass is no longer an issue due to the availability of freight transport options.
Existing outdoor brands can provide all the comforts of home to the first pioneers and the opportunity to sponsor astronauts and secure supply contracts is tremendously valuable. The outdoor industry is a prime candidate for early supply missions and presents an easier cargo certification process than delicate machinery.
Food Service Industry — Long Life & Supply Extension.
The food service industry is a truly globalised service with items frequently grown in one country, processed in another then distributed in many more. This supply chain infrastructure has all the requisite technology to deliver long life food to Mars prior to astronaut arrival.
Just as outdoor brands will seek premier partnership opportunities and crew supply contracts, the food service industry has a large number of leading brand names that could easily afford interorbital transport. The first softdrink or beer consumed on Mars is a brand recognition opportunity beyond value and just one amongst hundreds of categories.
Microagriculture Industry - Scalable Vertical Farming
The flourishing vertical farming industry is a terrific candidate for interorbital transport. Freight transport of bulk seeds, lighting and chemicals is as simple as outdoor equipment, requiring a lighter cargo certification process. Enabling the first pioneers to establish sustainable fresh food systems that can support and extend the long life food supplies is critical to maintaining healthy crews and emergency provisions for the journey home.
The vertical farming industry is heavily focused on standardisation and replication. Existing flat pack systems that can be customer assembled and daisy chained together will allow astronauts to rapidly expand production capacity and create an environment capable of supporting a large permanent population.
Mining Industry – Sampling, Safety & Steel.
The mining industry is a critical candidate for interorbital transport and astronaut safety. The deployment of existing small scale equipment could allow astronauts to establish partially buried structures, protecting them from harmful environmental radiation. While large scale extractive practices must be carefully planned and monitored, there will always be a need for iron, concrete and water ice. Extracting these materials is key to survival and furthering our understanding of the Martian environment.
Deployment of small bobcat diggers, scientific drilling equipment and mineral processing plants will transform temporary shelters into permanent habitats.
Interorbital Opportunity Summary
Business setup and operational readiness will take six years from the start of the schedule. Services will be offered to customers for purchase once orbital testing is complete in year 4. Customer freight launches will commence in year 6 at a slowly ramping rate and customers could be receiving cargo on Mars in Year 8 from business inception (and potentially earlier!). This system presents the lowest possible development risk by using an innovative combination of existing technologies. If H. Industries secured funding and began today, customers could have freight cargo on Mars before Christmas 2029.
Planning customer journeys by industry group gives a starting point of population sizes that market value estimates can be taken from. Based on published data of industry metrics and 5–10 year growth projections to line up with service go-live, a reasonable estimation confidence can be established for business financial modelling. This is a tremendous opportunity for both H. Industries and its customers.
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