NASA has a call for research in the economics of space exploration:
This NRA seeks empirical economic research projects, historical analog research, concepts for
encouraging further economic activity in space, and unique stimulatory activities that promote
novel private/commercial uses of space, new private/commercial space opportunities, and
emerging private/commercial capabilities in suborbital, orbital or deep space environments that
enable discoveries, development and applications from these environments.
Specific topics of interest include:
- Historical Economic Studies in the following areas:
- Economic history of NASA programs;
- Long term historical impact of the space program;
- Economic and business histories of American private sector space enterprises (including companies, societies, and projects);
- Economic histories of historical analog activities for space exploration (including detailed investigations into the financing of historical expeditions, settlements, and transportation infrastructure projects).
- Current and Near-Term Trends, Analyses and Concepts for accelerating American space development, in the following areas:
- Utilizing market mechanisms, private sector partnerships, and expanding markets to serve non-traditional commercial entities;
- Promoting broader uses of space for public and/or economic benefit, including job creation and/or workforce development, and maintaining American leadership in the global space marketplace;
- Encouraging engagement on space activities from citizen makers, crowd-funders, citizen explorers, and participation of innovators from non-traditional sectors that can have a transformative effect on future private/commercial space developments;
- Identifying and evaluating economic applications of space systems design to earth-scale economic analysis, including integrated modeling of globalized economic systems and earth systems science;
- Examining competitive stresses, potentials for public benefit, and issues affecting NASA or the nation in the commercial space arena;
- Monitoring, investigating and reporting on opportunities enabled by the rapidly growing national and international entrepreneurial space communities;
- Assessing the adequacy of economic assessment and evaluation tools and methods for space architectures;
- Conducting case studies of space development projects that can be used to inform NASA on the opportunities and impediments to economic development in space.
- Economics, Systems Analysis, and Projections, in orbital and deep space development; lunar development, asteroid development, and Mars development.