The space sector has made many exciting strides in the past few years. Chief among them is the industry’s ability to scale through more sustainable and affordable practices.

Dylan Taylor, Chairman & CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, a multi-national space holding firm, has long been a promoter of more sustainable and affordable innovations to propel the industry forward. Taylor has helped to secure the advancement of such practices through Voyager’s vital role in the NewSpace sector.

Taylor explains that part of the industry’s growing success is thanks to its capability to scale and create more affordable technologies and processes. Indeed, launching to space successfully depends on the sustainability of reusable rockets. SpaceX, a prime example of this innovation, provides optimum affordability that makes launches to space more practical and accessible for major players in the industry.

According to Dylan Taylor, affordability paves the way to more innovation and better accessibility. Reusable rockets and CubeSats are two areas of space hardware that have offered lower prices and have drawn a growing customer demand from agencies, schools and institutions alike, which have helped to foster the plethora of space startups in the sector. Thanks to the need for spacecraft to package small payloads, it makes for a high level of performance and thus saves on fuel and operation costs. However, Taylor says that there is still a need for higher quality products, including hardware, to maintain the sector’s affordability. Companies like Voyager are critical innovators working on new space technologies that will help achieve this goal and make space exploration a more accessible reality through affordable means.

Taylor has also widely discussed the need for sustainability within the NewSpace sector. In an interview with Cheddar News, Taylor promotes the idea of using the new iteration of space sustainability ratings (SSR) program to create a more sustainable space ecosystem. Voyager has developed a technology called a “dog tag,” currently on the OneWeb satellite constellation, which allows a satellite to be grappled.

For instance, servicing satellites can meet dead satellites in orbit to capture them and either repair, refuel, raise their orbit or push the satellite back down to burn it up. In this process, less energy, materials and time are wasted. Astroscale is another company also looking to implement these technologies. Taylor highlights that this emerging orbiting economy will implement these new technologies to keep space more clean and sustainable for future space missions.

How can these technologies lower the cost of space missions while maintaining the dedication to sustainable practices? Dylan Taylor explains that these missions have to be capitalized upon in the future. Sophisticated investors want to learn how sustainable the economic output is. Certainly, these initiatives are critical to making sure we don’t have a tragedy of the commons.

If the incremental risk to every actor within an orbital program is low, but incrementally that risk is high and you end up with bad outcomes. Commending the World Economic Forum and their leadership on the sustainability program, the SSR and other similar programs ensure that we’ll have a sustainable economy in lower earth orbit.

From an investment standpoint, sustainability ratings can also benefit shareholders. Giving them comfort that these constellations -- costing up to hundreds of millions of dollars (if not billions) -- have been created thoughtfully and are secure from collisions once they’re in space. For more sophisticated investors, it helps ensure that the NewSpace sector is not a wild frontier, but that there’s sophistication, regulation and predictability as to what the future might hold.

Taylor explains that we’ve spent the last ten years building access to space with more sustainable and affordable goals in mind. Time will tell when government agencies will light a fire under the industry by more actively supporting these startups to propel the industry’s sustainability goals forward.

However, NewSpace’s upgraded business models focus on creating highly functional innovations to achieve our goals or deep space exploration within a flourishing space economy demands the need for more affordable practices. Luckily, NewSpace is the accelerator of this affordability and sustainability, which is momentum for the sector to excel.