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Dylan Taylor on America’s Future in Space

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The next international space station will feature Hilton-designed interiors, a startup-conceived kitchen in space, and a science park named for George Washington Carver. Starlab, expected to become operational in 2027, represents a turning point in America’s future in space. This research institution, commercial platform, and tourism destination will help drive the NewSpace economy, which could be a $1 trillion enterprise by 2040. 

Space entrepreneurs like Dylan Taylor are shaping that future now.

Taylor is the founder and CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, one of the many companies constructing the new off-Earth economy. Voyager Space partnered with Nanoracks and Lockheed Martin and Airbus to build Starlab, the first free-flying commercial space station. Taylor expects Starlab to help revolutionize space access just as commercial flight revolutionized access to Earth. He predicts that commercial spaceflight could transform education, science, tourism, and even the essential nature of human resilience.

Further, Taylor forecasts that space will reshape the American and global economy, funneling people, ideas, and investment into its unlimited expanse. In 2021, Taylor said, “Everyone’s in the space industry. They just don’t know it yet.” So far, everyone is proving him right.

Morgan Stanley and Citigroup project space to be a trillion-dollar industry by 2040, attributing the rise to continually lower launch costs, progressive expansion of the satellite market, and rapid development of new technologies and applications. Taylor, who credits Elon Musk’s Space X for delivering reusability to the market, sees those applications touching every corner of life in space and on Earth. 

For instance, Starlab partner Nanoracks is working on a Zero-G Oven that can cook in space. Some of Voyager Space’s projects include laser communications devices, an orbiting greenhouse on Starlab, and visualization products that support ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) applications. Meanwhile, the Voyager Space-Hilton partnership marks a design plan for Starlab and the gateway to a future space hotel.

Taylor expects opportunities to expand further, particularly in the startup world that has become the space economy’s lifeblood. “Space has been hot for quite some time,” Taylor said. “For those of us in the industry, it’s been sort of a best-kept secret. … With inexpensive launch, a whole new era of business plans has opened up.”

But Dylan Taylor also wants the NewSpace economy to drive more than investment in the cosmos. He envisions space tech benefitting Earth as new satellites increase consumer broadband access and deliver applications to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. He believes space will change medical technology and generate new energy for STEM education, as the Apollo missions did in the 1960s and 1970s. He also anticipates that space exploration will revive America’s sense of wonder while bringing it to others globally for the first time.

Taylor calls this the “democratization of space.”

“Space is an investment opportunity but it’s also a fundamental tool for transformation,” he said. “If you look at how many people were inspired for STEM education from the Apollo program, the hope is, going back to the moon with Artemis and landing the first woman on the moon will have a similar impact on STEM education not only in the U.S. but around the world.”

As a citizen astronaut (he flew on Blue Origin’s NS-19 mission in 2021), Taylor said he experienced the profound combination of awe and humility that fewer than 600 people have known. Expanding that life-changing access is essential to the future of American and global space exploration, says Dylan Taylor.

Taylor pointed to Space4Women, AstroAccess, and Space for Humanity (the non-profit he founded) as organizations championing space for all. Spacy for humanity has sent two citizen astronauts, Sara Sabry and Kat Echazarreta, to space aboard Blue Origin missions. Taylor envisions many to follow.

“What inspires me is, I think space is transformational for humanity,” Taylor said. “I think it’s the next big thing. I think it allows us to imagine what humanity 2.0 could be.”


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