The Space Foundation’s Space Report 2010, released at the NSS in Colorado Springs, paints a picture of positive global growth in the space business, but simultaneously reveals continuing shrinkage of the U.S. launch industry.
Highlighting the overall growth of the global space economy, the report reveals this reached a value of $261.6 billion in 2009, representing close to 40% growth since the Space Foundation started tracking the state of the industry in 2005. Despite the economic woes of the past year, the space industry also showed surprising resilience in 2008-2009 says the Space 2010 program manager Marty Hauser. “The space industry is on a pretty good trajectory, particularly since the last two years have seen so much upheaval.”
Hard evidence of re-growth comes from several key indicators, one of which is a Space Foundation index of 31 leading aerospace companies which have either in excess of $1 billion in annual space-derived annual revenues, or 50% of more of their annual income from space business. “We’ve re-gained all the ground we lost in the Space Foundation index over the last nine months. The index just broke the ‘100’ mark in the past month,” says Hauser.
Military space remains vibrant, but with evidence of increased reliance on the commercial sector says Peggy Slye, chief operating officer and business and market management director for Futron, a Washington DC-based decision management company that contributed to the report. “The presence of hosted payloads on commercial launches is a real growing trend,” she says, adding that overall spending remains high. “The U.S. government accounts for 25% of total space spending, and of that military space is by far the greatest amount,” she says. Estimated U.S. defense space spending in 2009 totaled $43.5 billion, while worldwide military space spending – excluding the U.S – is estimated at $2.18 billion.
Despite the growing potential for high-flying unmanned air vehicles to siphon off some space business, the upside is increased need for communications. “The fixed satellite services industry loves the growth of UAVs because they demand a lot of bandwidth,” adds Space 2010 contributor and ISDR consulting managing partner, Kevin Leclaire.
The report also indicates that launch rates have grown 42% from 2005 to 2009, with payloads growing 46%. Of the 78 launches in 2009, less than a third took place in the U.S. Out in front for the year was Russia with 37%, followed by the U.S. with 31%, 9% for Europe, 8% for China, 5% for the international Sea Launch/Land Launch consortium and under 4% each for Japan, India, North Korea, South Korea and Iran.
For more details visit www.TheSpaceReport.org