I've been seeing a lot of videos talking about how the "space industry" is "exploding" and soon to be a trillion dollar industry.
Obviously I know better than to just buy into the hype but I am curious: why are there so many startups/companies trying to get to space.
Economically speaking the only activities in space I could think of are:
Communication Satellites (Internet)
Photography (Defense or Wall Street (Some hedge funds look at traffic patterns/parkinglot densities to predict trends))
Scientific Apparatuses (ex: Telescopes)
Now of these really only (1,2,3,4) could be considered "free market" activities, as in someone makes a company that derives a profit from doing the activity (sadly without government funding I don't think its profitable to keep launching telescopes).
Tourism doesn't seem like a massive industry to me (it will be a small number of wealthy folk initially at least)
Offering Internet is very useful, but a large percentage of the world already does HAVE internet so I'd be very suspicious that this is more profitable than what companies like COMCAST already make (it probably is way less)
Weather streams again would be only paid for long term by militaries, research groups, and news stations
It's just not obvious to me that the sum total of these justifies the idea that theres a "trillion dollar future in space around the corner" and that "we need to launch as many startups right now to get there, it will be profitable!"
What other industries are there to do in space, right now, that I'm missing here? OR have I misjudged the profitability of some of these industries?
Caveat, obviously becoming a multiplanetary civilization mining and manufacturing goods on different space locations and transporting them would be an enormous endeavor likely to lead to many profits but we are nowhere near that level of technology right now. So I don't consider "mining" and "manufacturing" to be profitable activities in space at the moment: (unless someone knows things that are today believed to be better/easier manufactured in space)