Elon Musk's SpaceX has some serious competition.

Blue Origin, Relativity Space, Slingshot Aeropsace, Rocket Lab, and Virgin Orbit are just a few of the names populating the space industry. Many of these startups have raised billions of dollars in funding to test rockets that will transport payloads to space.

In 2018 alone, US investors poured at least $2.3 billion into this rapidly-expanding rocket industry. This number is estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2040.

"After years of development, OneWeb and SpaceX will begin to deploy their Low Earth Orbit (LEO) mega-constellations in 2019, albeit their full constellation targets will take several more years. Both are planning global coverage to provide internet broadband to the billions of unconnected. Crucially both still need to define their "go-to-market" strategy and solve the ground segment element of their proposition ahead of commercial roll-out," said Josephine Millward of London-based space investment firm, Seraphim Capital.

The rapid spread of these fast-growing companies, coupled with Chinese plans to launch 30 missions this year, has begun a global space race that could completely redefine our interactions with the extraplanetary realm.

"Privately funded space startups are changing China's space industry," Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College, said last year. "And even without their help, China is poised to become a space power on par with the United States."

China's primary focus will be on the Long March-5 large carrier rocket, which was scheduled to launch last year but failed due to a malfunction. China is also starting to construct its own private space station.

Companies at the forefront of China's space initiative are LandSpace, OneSpace and iSpace, which are all working on competitive launch vehicles.

The massive inflow of investment into the space industry is good for the economy and beneficial for the tech sector in general. There will now be more jobs available for the manufacturing of such rockets while sellers of component parts will profit from increased demand for the same. Associated products - i.e., the items transported as payloads, as well as any subset of the space industry in general - will also greatly benefit from this burgeoning industry.