Commercial opportunities in space

As the first permanent outpost for humans in space, the International Space Station is a unique environment. Built as an orbiting base for research under microgravity conditions, the Space Station is the world’s most sophisticated laboratory, capable of providing unprecedented scientific and technical knowledge which will be used to improve everyday life on Earth.

As the Space Station heads towards completion, ESA is sending a clear and positive message to European industry – the International Space Station is open for business. Through the commercialisation of the European segment of the Space Station, ESA is embracing the tremendous potential of this new marketplace in space. It will offer a whole new world of commercial opportunities and business ventures in which research, development and technology will make significant advances to benefit life on Earth.

By investing in sponsorship, product placement and marketing campaigns, European industry and commerce can work in partnership with the Space Station, exploiting the facilities it has to offer and boosting Europe to the forefront of commercial development.

To generate interest and raise the public’s perception of the Space Station, ESA is supporting the creation of a dynamic new identity to capture the attention of both space and non-space industries, to encourage investment and to attract new users. The revenue generated from this new economy will also allow ESA to support new projects in the fields of scientific research in space.

As the first ESA flight to carry a commercial instrument – the BMI (Blood pressure Measurement Instrument) – the Marco Polo mission is leading the way in space commercialisation.

This experiment marks the beginning of a positive future relationship between European industry and the Space Station and with the expertise, knowledge and support of ESA, innovative and dedicated businesses throughout Europe will have the chance to discover this unique research environment and its endless possibilities.

Last update: 23 April 2002

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