What is the Space Commodities Exchange?
The Space Commodities Exchange (SCX) is a space infrastructure business split into two parts:
Commodities, such as water, oxygen, propellant, and metals, that are in various strategic orbits, and procured from:
- Earth: Launched into LEO using low-cost providers. The growth in reusable and low-cost launchers around the world will create an excess launch capacity that will be leveraged to send up commodities used in propulsion and manufacturing. A space craft’s mission duration and range is massively increased by refueling itself from a pre-launched propellant tank.
- Lunar Surface: Commodities extracted and transported to orbits like L1, GEO, even LEO. Shifts in G7 Nations’ space policy has been to the Moon, private space companies are competing to fulfill key roles, meaning new activity will require more commodities sourced from commercial providers.
- Space Resources: Asteroid Mining, Near Earth Objects extraction operations, where commodities are then transported to orbiting depots or direct to customer locations.
When the commodities are located and yet to be extracted, in transport, and in storage, they are available to customers such as:
- Satellite Operators: Propellant required for positioning GEO assets.
- Space Agencies: Commodities vital to exploration and manned facilities, e.g. ESA Moon Village.
- Private Space Companies: From space tourism to space resources.
Demand for orbital commodities already exists, United Launch Alliance is committed to purchase 210 tonnes of water in 2023. This kind of demand is a signal that there will be an increase in space activity, both government initiatives and private operations.
The SCX offers the forward purchase and delivery of commodities such as water, oxygen, hydrogen, in multiple orbits, to service commercial ventures and space agency missions.
Activities of the SCX include procuring customers and suppliers.
The SCX is currently modelling demand, procurement, the cost of the required orbital infrastructure, and is structuring transparent and effective financing instruments enabling customers to forward-order commodities like water in various orbits.
Future commodities will include those derived processed in space; from Lunar facilities to Asteroid Mining operations, and includes materials for 3D printers, manufacturing in space operations, and what is required to sustain life.