Monday, April 09, 2012

Global Space Industry Grows 41% Over Five Years

The global space industry grew substantially faster than the rest of the worldwide economy last year, according to the Space Report 2012: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, which was released to the news media on April 5th and will be available to the general public starting next week at the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

The 2012 Space Report paints an optimistic picture of a high growth industry.

According to the publication, "the global space economy grew to $289.77 billion in 2011, reflecting a surprisingly robust single-year expansion of 12.2 percent and five-year growth of 41 percent in a global economy that has been suppressed in many other sectors."

These international figures are independently supported through Canadian data presented at the recently completed Canadian Space Commerce Association (CSCA) 2012 National Conference and destined for the annual, end-of-year State of the Canadian Space Sector report.

State of the Canadian Space Sector.
According to Joan Harvey, the head of Research & Analysis, Policy and External Relations for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in her presentation on the Canadian Space Sector in the Global Context:
The total value of the commercial space economy in 2010 is between USD $150- $190 Billion. With commercial revenues of USD $3.3B ($3.4B Canadian) in 2010, Canada occupies 1.7% - 2.2% of the global share.
These CSA dollar values would seem to agree well with the figures developed for the 2012 Space Report. The CSA figures for annual growth for the previous five years (38% over the five year period from 2006 - 2010) also agree reasonably well with the values derived for the Space Report.

Both reports note the ongoing financial difficulties and stagnant budgets of the US space program and its European Space Agency (ESA) counterpart when compared to China, India and Russia, with their high ambitions, money and evident political will to carry out new missions.

But the Space Report also notes that the US space workforce is old (with over 70% of the workforce between 40 and 60 as compared to the overall US workforce where less than 45% is between 40 and 60) and shrinking which might just give Canadians a little pause since the US is our biggest current partner in space.

The Space Foundation, which publishes the Space Report, will hold a media briefing on the 2012 Space Report on Wednesday, April 18th at the Space Foundation Media Center in Colorado Springs to discuss its findings.

The next State of the Canadian Space Sector report should be completed in December.

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