The Space Economy at a Glance 2011

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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.



The manufacturing space industry

Space manufacturing remains a relatively small sector. According to industry reports, worldwide space manufacturing revenues increased from USD 10.5 billion in 2008 to at least USD 13.5 billion in 2009 (Satellite Industry Association, 2010) (Figure 4.1). This trend continued in 2010, as the main commercial satellite communications operators have been in the process of upgrading their fleet. Almost thirty contracts were signed in 2010 to order geostationary communications satellites. However based on other national and regional industry surveys, revenues generated by the construction of satellites and launchers, and their associated services, are probably larger worldwide. The space industries in India and China for instance provide a large amount of products and services to their growing national space programmes (see Chapter V).


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