The space industry is thought to be worth as much as $400 billion – and it's about to open up to all-comers as humankind once more looks to the Moon and beyond.
On this week's The Agenda with Stephen Cole, Bernhard Hufenbach, Lead of Commercialization and Innovation Team at European Space Agency, explains how the reinvigorated space race could have huge economic benefits.
"The lunar economy is nothing else than an extension of the domestic economy," he says. "We are interested in any commercial partnership which is founded on a solid business case."
Hufenbach explains the two guiding principles behind the lunar economy: "In exploration, we always need both cooperation and competition. Without competition, there's no innovation.
"We need cooperation between international partners, but we also need industry-to-industry cooperation beyond national boundaries to ensure that we have the end to end supply chains we need for future space exploration."
These opportunities may go beyond what might be termed the "traditional" space industries. Hufenbach lists the areas with economic expansion potential: "The mining industry, robotics, industrial processing and artificial intelligence...
"There are lots of industries which are today crowded in a terrestrial sector which may discover opportunities once we start a permanent operation on the surface."