Pearce also looks forward to innovation on the satellite bus and payload side. Boeing's all-electric 702SP satellite bus, for example, “suddenly seems to lower the cost of putting the space segment into orbit,” Pearce says. “The fact that [it's] Falcon-compatible is also very, very interesting.” And if Lockheed Martin chooses to return to building commercial satellites, as it has indicated it might, “then you've got another major provider of satellites as well,” he says.
Meanwhile, governments are providing powerful incentives for their respective satellite and launch industries, according to Pearce. “You've got the export credit agencies out there flinging money with gay abandon, lowering the cost of capital to bring things to market and supporting their national manufacturing industry and launch industry, because they're funding launches ,” he says. “So you're beginning to see some of the barriers to innovation coming down.”