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Aerospace financing towards Mars commercialisation

Wesley L. Harris (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Jarunee Wonglimpiyarat (Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and Leonardo Research Centre, Imperial College London, London, UK)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 14 December 2022

Issue publication date: 29 June 2023




This paper aims to explore the financing mechanisms towards Mars commercialisation and SpaceX’s Mars mission programme to achieve the interplanetary settlement. This study also suggests the path to avoid the failure of space commercialisation.


This research uses a case study methodology (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2013). The analysis is based on the construct of technology S-curves and attempts to answer the research question: What are the financing mechanisms to achieve successful aerospace financing for Mars mission? This research used semi-structured questionnaire and conducted 51 in-depth interviews. The interview data were supported by an examination of secondary data to provide a cross check on the validity of research (Yin, 2013). The research findings provide lessons and insights into the challenges of aerospace financing to Mars.


This study has shown that financing via cryptocurrency and initial coin offering as well as crowdfunding (particularly donation- and equity-based crowdfunding) provide promising financial solutions to achieve Mars commercialisation. The implementation of Mars programme demonstrates the fifth generation of innovation development model – systems integration and extensive networking model.


Given a dearth of study focusing on the links between S-curves and technology financing of aerospace commercialisation, this research study attempts to fill a gap in this neglected area with a focus on exploring the financing mechanisms towards Mars commercialisation.



Harris, W.L. and Wonglimpiyarat, J. (2023), "Aerospace financing towards Mars commercialisation", Foresight, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 617-630.



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