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The Space Economy at a Glance 2011

image of The Space Economy at a Glance 2011

Space applications have become an important part of everyday life. Weather forecasting, air traffic control, global communications and broadcasting, disaster management -- these and many other key activities would be almost unthinkable today without satellite technology. The space industry itself is relatively small compared to other manufacturing sectors, but its technological dynamism and strategic significance mean that it plays an ever more critical role in modern society. 

This book assembles information on the space economy from a wide range of official and non-official sources. Together these paint a richly detailed picture of the space industry, its downstream services activities, and its wider economic and social impacts. Who are the main space-faring nations? How large are revenues and how much employment is there in the sector? How much R&D goes on, and where? What is the value of spin-offs from space spending? Answers to these and other questions are provided in this second OECD statistical overview of the emerging space economy.

A dynamic link (StatLink) is provided for graphs, which directs the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

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Human capital

The space sector comprises a myriad of specialised jobs, ranging from engineer to marketing specialists, although the majority of people working in the space sector have a science, mathematics, engineering or information technology background. Although estimates vary, existing data already provide some pointers as to the size of the workforce in the space sector, but not in the much wider space economy which includes more providers of space-related products and services. Overall, the space sector is traditionally not a very large employer. Less than 170 000 people work in space manufacturing in the United States, some 31 000 people in Europe and 50 000 in China. This is also a very concentrated industry, as for example, four large industrial holdings are directly responsible for more than 70% of total European space industry employment.

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