SpaceX recently launched and landed a rocket outside of Los Angeles, California.
Previously, the reusable rockets would land on ocean-based platforms. By landing on solid ground, a new dimension is beginning to open up in logistics: spaceports.
For the first time, a rocket has landed on the West Coast. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/EpTZkvz0y5
— CNET (@CNET) November 13, 2018
Spaceports will act as a center of gravity for a wide-assortment of new and exciting industries. Similar to the way the airport has spawned the aerotropolis, spaceports will attract a complex web of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers.
Advances in zero-gravity manufacturing could me a catalyst for economic development around spaceports, together with science experiments and satellite launches.
However, it could be geopolitical events that drive space logistics forward.
China currently supplies about 90% of the world’s rare earth metals. These critical raw materials play vital roles in today’s technology. Should this supply be drastically reduced, astroid mining for rare earth metals could become more viable.
While the field of space logistics may still be more science fiction than science fact, it does present the intrepid space entrepreneur, or supply chain manager working in three dimensions, a universe of new possibilities in the years ahead.