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.


Insurance market for space activities

Although launching satellites appears to be a routine operation to the general public, there are still major risks involved. A branch of the insurance sector specifically covers the commercial space sector’s operations. The main risks covered still tend to be a failure at launch or mechanical troubles for telecommunications satellites (with different types of satellite insurance coverage) (Table 7.1). If losses occur, they tend to happen 83% of the time in the very first phases of the space systems’ lifetime, either because of a malfunction of the rocket during launch or because of a satellite’s breakdown during the first month of operations (Figure 7.2). The space insurance industry generates around USD 750 to USD 800 million a year. After several rocket failures in 1998 and 2001, in recent years space insurers have seen their profits rise and have lowered premium rates. Premium rates paid by satellite operators depend mainly on the reliability over time of the launch vehicles and satellite platforms they use. There are still relatively few satellites insured compared to the mass sent to orbit every year, some 40 per year out of the hundred launched every year (Figure 7.3)...


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