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11 Startups Taking Advantage of Business Opportunities in Space

From 3D printed rockets to inflatable habitats, these companies are pushing humanity further out in the cosmos.

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Even if you only have a passing interest in outer space, you’ve likely heard of the big names behind the civilian push to get humans further out in the cosmos.

Elon Musk and SpaceX recently hit a major milestone, when one of the company’s reusable rockets had a successful launch on the first try. Jeff Bezos and his company Blue Origin want to get space tourists into orbit as soon as next year, and he said recently that he is selling $1 billion worth of Amazon stock to fund the venture. Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking shared that he will achieve his dream of going to space by hitching a ride on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship.

Related: 20 Unforgettable Moments in Space Exploration

But while Branson, Bezos and Musk have more than made their mark on the industry, they aren’t the only ones who have been taking advantage of our fascination with space exploration. Read on for 10 companies that are focusing on getting us out of this world.

 
Made in Space

Made in Space

The California-based manufacturing firm created the first 3D printer that was installed on the International Space Station to help build replacement parts more quickly.

 
Tri-D Dynamics

Tri-D Dynamics

Co-founders Deepak Atyam and Alexander Finch are the makers of 3D printed small rocket engines. The pair want to make it possible to manufacture rockets quickly and inexpensively.
Scope AR

Scope AR

The company makes augmented reality systems that have been used by big name aerospace figures such as Boeing and NASA.
Bigelow Aerospace

Bigelow Aerospace

Robert Bigelow's company is currently developing the B330, an inflatable space habitat that's being tested at the International Space Station.
Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

The company is the maker of Electron, a spacecraft specifically designed to bring small satellites into orbit.
Effective Space Solutions

Effective Space Solutions

The London-based company wants to extend the lives of satellites by towing them away from dangerous orbits that would make them shut down and stop working.

 
Astroscale

Astroscale

This company wants to raise awareness about the environment in space, and is currently developing systems to clean and remove space debris. It is based in Singapore and Japan.

 
Exospace

Exospace

Exospace is the maker of a real-time space simulator that helps users suss out trajectories and orbits whether they are studying weather patterns or learning how to operate a spacecraft.

 
Deep Space Industries

Deep Space Industries

DSI makes technology that maps and mines asteroids and then collects space materials for study and conservation.
Scaled Composites

Scaled Composites

Back in 2004, the first private, non-government manned spacecraft to take flight wasn’t from SpaceX or Blue Origin, but aerospace firm Scaled Composites with its SpaceShipOne.

 
Celestis

Celestis

Space travel is not for the faint of heart. But if you or a loved one wants to make the trip without actually undergoing the training, this Houston-based company offers customers the option to not only send cremated remains into space, but genetic material as well. Prices range from $1,295 to $12,500, depending on where you want your DNA to go.