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Government Space Programs Spend $68 billion in 2009

By | February 24, 2010
      [Satellite TODAY 02-24-10] Worldwide government expenditures for space programs grew by 10 percent in 2009 over 2008, reaching an all-time high of $68 billion, according to a Euroconsult report, released Feb. 23.
          The report, “Profiles of Government Space Programs: Analysis of 60 Countries & Agencies,” states that both civil and defense spending have grown dramatically in 2009, with government expenditures for civil space programs increasing 9 percent to $36 billion and spending for defense space programs climbed to $32 billion, a 12 percent increase compared to 2008.
          Over 50 countries are now investing in domestic space programs and annual budgets in six countries – the United States, Russia, Japan, China, France and Germany – were over $1 billion in 2009.
          U.S. national space expenditures alone totaled $48.8 billion in 2009. However, Euroconsult analyst Steve Bochinger believes that the growth will not last long. “In the [U.S.] defense sector, the FY2011 budget foresees an 8 percent decrease for the U.S. Department of Defense space program due to the near completion of Satcom, Satnav and Reconnaissance programs, combined with the cancellation of major initiatives such as TSAT. In addition, the decision to terminate NASA’s Constellation program and to put the future of US-based human spaceflight on hold demonstrates more careful management of government money than what was observed during the last decade,” said Bochinger.
          Russia’s national space expenditures grew at over 40 percent on average per year over the last five years, with its budget reaching an all-time high of $2.8 billion in 2009. However, the country will “experience more modest growth in the coming years,” said Bochinger.
          A total of 26 countries initiated a domestic space program in 2009 with average investments between $5 million and $50 million.

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