The global space economy is swelling despite the pandemic
COLORADO SPRINGS – The global space economy grew 4.4% to $ 447 billion in 2020 with more countries participating than ever, according to the Space Foundation’s updated space report.
Global public spending on military and civilian space programs, however, declined slightly in 2020 compared to 2019.
“Overall, there was the slightest drop, down 1.2%,” said Lesley Conn, senior director of research and analysis at the Space Foundation, said on Aug. 23 during ” a press briefing at 36e Space Symposium.
Commercial activity continues to represent the lion’s share of the global space economy, with commercial space products and services accounting for $ 219.44 or 49.1% of the money spent in the global space economy in 2020. The business infrastructure and support activities accounted for an additional $ 137.23, 30.7% of the total market.
The U.S. government spent $ 51.8 billion in civilian and military space in 2020, contributing 11.6% of the global space economy. All other governments contributed $ 38.4 billion or 8.6 percent of the total.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, government spending on space increased in 2020 in the United States, China, Spain, France, Germany and for the European Space Agency. France’s national space budgets have jumped 40% year over year.
In contrast, public space spending fell in Russia, Italy, India and Brazil in 2020 compared to 2019.
Some countries have increased their spending, but “that just wasn’t enough to make up for some of the corrections made in 2020,” Conn said. “In 2021, we anticipate a return in space spending and we will see these budgets adjust accordingly. “
In 2020, the United States, the European Space Agency and China accounted for over 81% of global government space spending.
Military space spending overall declined slightly in 2020, according to the Space Report.
Since the Space Foundation began publishing the Space Report in 2005, the global space economy has jumped 176%.
“A lot of this is fueled by business growth,” Conn said.
With each edition of the Space Report, analysts include data on nations starting to enter the space sector. The new report notes space-related activities in nearly a dozen countries not listed in previous reports.
Employment in the space sector was relatively stable in 2020. There were additional jobs in the manufacture of spacecraft, while employment in space telecommunications declined.
The changes have been “relatively constant throughout the year,” said Mariel Borowitz, associate professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “So not so much related to the pandemic as to broader trends that were already happening. “
The new report also highlights an increase in space launch activity. In the first half of 2021, there were 61 successful space launches, compared to 45 for the first six months of 2020 and 41 in 2019.
“We expect that at the end of the year we will have numbers to show that same level of [launch activity] growth, ”said Conn.
In addition, boosters were recovered from one in three space launches carried out during the first half of 2021.
“As you can imagine, this is largely driven by SpaceX and the work they’ve done,” Conn said.
Emerging space nations tend to enter the space sector by partnering with leading space agencies, including NASA, the European Space Agency and the National Space Administration of China, Conn said.
With the help of partners, emerging space nations often build and launch cubesats or nanosatellite payloads before establishing their own programs to develop space communications, agricultural monitoring or environmental monitoring, Conn added.