Investors are pouring money into private space companies.

With billionaires like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos all racing to get space-related companies off the ground, others are piling in, and investors are following.

A report released last week by investment firm Space Angels shows that investors poured more than $2 billion into space-related companies this year. Calling 2009 the, “dawn of the entrepreneurial space age,” Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson credited Musk’s Space X with kicking off the movement:

In 2009, the world was just beginning to feel the significant impacts of the global financial crisis. That same year, a little known rocket company launched their first successful commercial payload and in doing so, ushered in what we like to call the “Entrepreneurial Space Age.” With that launch, SpaceX significantly lowered the barriers to entry in the space industry. By vertically integrating, the company was able to drastically reduce the cost to get to orbit. But what deserves at least as much credit is their decision to publish their pricing, which fundamentally changed the way we do business in space. This transparency enabled would-be space entrepreneurs to develop a business plan and raise equity financing based on those cost assumptions.

With SpaceX now regularly launching and landing rockets, Jeff Bezos selling $1 billion of his Amazon stock each year to invest in his space company Blue Origin, and an increasing number of top-tier venture capital firms investing in space such as Sequoia’s recent investment in Vector, this is a very exciting time for the space industry.

CNBC reports that the industry is only expected to grow:

This year will mark the first time for commercial launches across the globe to outpace government-sponsored launches. Through September, there were 41 commercial launches and 28 under government contract.

Earlier this week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted that the space industry would reach at least $2.7 trillion in the next three decades, up from about $350 billion today. Morgan Stanley has a more modest forecast of $1.1 trillion by 2040.

It’s definitely a new era, one that Print Killer Media can help you keep in tune with.