Subject Development of private business in the rocket-and-space industry is a fairly new trend. If in the early 2000's entrepreneurs announced their ambitious plans in the field of space, during recent several years it is possible to observe the implementation of the conceived programs, as well as the growing number of private companies in the sector. Objectives The study aims at analyzing trends, development prospects, and the role of private business within the system of economic relations that arise in the course of formation and strengthening of the space industry at the national and global levels. Methods The theoretical and methodological framework for thepaper is a general scientific methodology involving the application of such approaches as dialectical analysis and synthesis, statistical surveys, comparison, induction and deduction. The information sources include scientific publications and interviews with Russian and foreign experts in the space industry, the world famous mass media in the field of astronautics, effective laws and regulations, and official reports of recognized research organizations in the space activities area. Results The article presents a brief review of existing private projects in the field of space and identifies the most attractive segments of the space sector for private business. I have analyzed the importance of private initiatives for the development of national space activities, and described the conditions and factors that contribute to the formation of entrepreneurship in the rocket and space area, in particular, the main tools of the US government policy in this area. I pay particular attention to the formation of the private sector in the Russian rocket-and-space industry. Conclusions The study reveals the availability of private initiative in all segments of space activities, even in high-tech ones. The USA is a leader in terms of a number of private companies operating in the space area. Private business is a source of optimal solutions, innovation and an effective form of participation in commercial space activities. It is crucial to create favorable conditions in the Russian space area for private business development, as in many ways, it will help eliminate the causes of systemic crisis in the Russian rocket-and-space industry.
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