Around 70% of active satellites are used for commercial purposes, of which more than half are owned by the American manufacturer SpaceX. Private sector involvement in space is quickly accelerating, according to the Satellite Database assembled by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Decreasing costs and fewer barriers to entry have allowed many companies to implement small-scale satellite projects. Governments have also encouraged private activity to strengthen “territorial” claims and complement existing or planned national initiatives.
However, increased orbital congestion furthers the risk of direct collision and an increase in debris. And, “new commercial entrants are disrupting traditional incumbents’ control in delivering satellite services, especially in internet-related communications or launch services,” according to the 17th edition of the Global Risks Report. The lack of established rules and regulations governing space activity, coupled with limited forums for transnational collaboration only emphasize the importance of risk mitigation efforts in the space realm.