More than 60 years since John Glenn first orbited the Earth in the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7, private enterprise has driven the space industry to new heights, with companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin successfully launching nearly 200 missions to date while making space travel more affordable and accessible. With space becoming so important to companies and governments, the need to provide specialized expertise has grown significantly, and Big Four firm Deloitte has recently announced a plan to build a “space force” of its own, powered by its army of consultants.
“Space has been hiding in plain sight in the middle of ‘Aerospace & Defense’ for decades” said Alan Brady, Deloitte’s Space Leader for Aerospace and Defense, and Principal, in a press release. “Today, the industry's exponential growth and a unique set of issues requires thinking differently about space. The greatest opportunities could come through connecting the dots across traditional industry barriers — an area where Deloitte is uniquely suited to help."
The space economy, valued at roughly $400 billion today, has become one of the fastest-growing sectors, having increased in value by more than 60% in the past ten years and forecasted to grow to more than $1 trillion by 2030. Driven by the maturation of the commercial launch industry and the proliferation of low-Earth orbit satellite services, the market for which is expected to grow from $40 billion today to as much as $312 billion by 2023, according to Deloitte. The growth of the space economy is dropping barriers to entry and spawning new business models that are sure to drive further innovation along with social and economic benefits.
While Deloitte has provided expertise focused on the space industry for more than 15 years, this new formalization of its space consulting services marks a shift in focus to the growing market. The new consulting opportunity breaks down into two main areas:
1) Space as a mission or business, where the firm will support clients that have a dedicated focus on space, such as designing and launching systems into orbit or offering space-based products or services; and
2) Space as a growth opportunity, which reportedly presents the most exciting and lucrative potential to identify and nurture new business models.
With the industry booming, Deloitte has picked an excellent time to formalize its space-focused consulting offerings, and is positioning itself and its clients to shoot for the moon.