7 Space Technology Predictions for 2023 • TechCrunch

Mobile phone connectivity from space

Several players the industry has recently set its sights on direct-to-mobile communications from space. Although it is still a very early market with limited opportunities available, companies such as Apple, T-Mobile, Globalstar, SpaceX, AST SpaceMobile and Lynk Global are targeting this space. Many mobile network operators are already on board, even before the first operational spacecraft launch.

Apple has partnered with Globalstar to provide SOS connectivity with its new iPhone 14, and T-Mobile plans to launch low-Earth orbit (LEO) connectivity in 2023 through SpaceX, which recently filed an application with the U.S. FCC to include direct-to-cellular capabilities on its Gen 2 Starlink satellites. Amazon is also set to launch its first batch of LEO satellites for Project Kuiper.

Many of these early projects will not provide high-speed broadband from space, but will instead offer a low-bandwidth connection suitable for emergency calls and texts. All of this is aimed at serving currently underserved populations around the world who don’t live within reach of traditional mobile networks.

Commercialization of the moon begins in earnest

Despite the economic uncertainty, we believe new records will be set in space technology as giant commercial projects are funded.

A large-scale government and commercial effort has been underway to “return to the moon” decades after the Apollo program ended in 1972. It was launched by NASA’s Artemis program, which saw the Orion capsule of the Artemis 1 mission return to Earth after spending almost a month. travels around the moon.

Around the same time, SpaceX launched the first fully privately funded lunar mission for Japan’s iSpace, a fuel-efficient trip to the moon due to arrive in April. This will be the first fully commercial mission to land on the moon, a milestone in space cooperation between Japan and the United States. Other commercial companies, such as Intuitive Machines and Astrobotic, are also targeting lunar landers.

As the first commercial companies move to the moon alongside national efforts, we expect 2023 to be a breakthrough year for the lunar ecosystem.

Three factors underlie the revenue growth

Developments in defense, cyber security, and climate will be strong drivers of space technology revenue in 2023. The record growth in the defense budget is driven by the war in Ukraine and the growing geopolitical tensions that have fueled business and governments’ growing desire for sovereign capabilities. space assets will lead to some huge orders in the sector. And since cyber security is another tool in the geopolitical toolbox, satellite resilience against attacks is a priority.

The growing reliance on in-orbit data sets means that the security requirements for the data flow from satellite to cloud and ground stations are growing exponentially. We see 2023 as the year when industry embraces quantum capabilities.

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