10 Trends That Will Change the Course of the Aerospace Industry
Here are the top 10 trends which will change the future of space exploration, the airline industry, military defense programs, and more.
This is our latest article in a series of market intelligence investigations. Be sure to check out our previous articles on which industries will grow the fastest in 2021, as well as the top trends in supply chain and logistics, pharma and clinical healthcare, furniture manufacturing, and high-tech.
1. A New Renaissance In Space Exploration Bridges The Political Divide
Space exploration is enjoying a new renaissance, with the US enjoying renewed pride in its recent accomplishments, such as the recent successful flight of NASA's Perseverance Mars Lander and the launch of five astronauts this past November aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft (powered by a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket) en route to the International Space Station.
These achievements mark a new era in the space program, as NASA breathes a sigh of relief that it is no longer wholly dependent on Russian rockets to send astronauts into space.
But this week, all eyes are focused on NASA's Perseverance Mars Lander and its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will attempt the first-ever powered, controlled flight on another planet. The first takeoff test is expected very soon and will be broadcast on NASA television and on their YouTube channel.
We can expect more significant developments from NASA in 2021, including:
Additional CST-100 Starliner Flight Tests
NASA's Commercial Crew Program has two companies competing against each other: SpaceX and the Boeing/United Launch Alliance partnership. While SpaceX has already had one successful flight ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station, Boeing/United Launch Alliance's CST-100 Starliner failed a critical flight test this past November. A retest in March has been delayed but expected later in 2021.
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)
Can we protect ourselves from asteroids barreling toward Earth? NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) intends to find out by intentionally crashing into an asteroid to change its orbital path. Expect the mission to launch later this summer, with the asteroid crash test taking place late in 2022.
James Webb Telescope
The Hubble space telescope, famous for needing to be fitted with corrective "glasses" after a math miscalculation in its optical lens system, will be joined by the new James Webb Space Telescope. The new telescope is expected to be launched in the fall of 2021 and will stake out a position orbiting the sun for a clear view of the cosmos.