© 2020

Disruptive Space Technologies and Innovations

The Next Chapter


Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)

About this book


In the past century alone, we have witnessed groundbreaking technological innovations quickly displace established industries, thereby opening up entirely new markets or fields of research. Such "disruptive technologies" are hard to predict in advance, and yet, they have the potential to significantly alter the course of history. Written by one of the world’s leading space applications experts, this book addresses the concept of disruptive technologies in the space arena, including microsatellites, the development of satellite constellations, and reusable launch vehicles.

The book presents several case studies in the field, and discusses how and why modern space technologies are so unique. It covers current examples of disruptive space businesses, the pros and cons of such disruption, key emerging trends, and possible developments on the horizon.


Disruptive space technology space business New Space Applications New Space Emerging uses of space UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG's SpaceX Elon Musk Jeff Bezos reuseable launch stages microsatellites smart materials additive space manufacturing disruptive technologies

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

About the authors

Dr. Scott Madry is the founder and executive director of the Global Space Institute, a nonprofit space education, training, and development institution. He is a former member of the faculty of the International Space University and is also a research associate professor of Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the founder and president of Infomatics International, Inc., an international remote sensing, GIS, and GPS consulting firm. He has conducted research in the domain of regional natural and cultural resource management and has given over 150 short courses and training programs in over 30 countries. He is active in the Open Source GIS and remote sensing software community, and as a volunteer for the GISCorps was awarded in 2013 the President’s Volunteer Service Award by President Barack Obama. Dr. Madry is also author of previous books on space for Springer, including (as co-Editor in Chief) Handbook of Satellite Applications and several SpringerBriefs in Space Development.

Bibliographic information