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Space Industry A $180 Billion Enterprise With Rocketing Value

By | November 20, 2006

      A new report shows the space industry is pulling down a cool $180 billion annually in global revenues, while its stock prices are climbing to the cosmos.

      According to the report by the Space Foundation, stock price increases in the industry outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 and NASDAQ stocks. NASDAQ includes many high- tech firms.

      Entitled “The Space Report: The Guide to Global Space Activity” and available through the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo., the book identifies nine sectors for global space activities and describes the range of space activities: space infrastructure, space products and services, space revenues and government budgets, how space products and services are used, their impact, and the outlook for the future.

      Among its key findings, The Space Report concludes that space activities accounted for about $180 billion in government budgets and industry revenues worldwide last year.

      That includes $110 billion coming from global commercial space revenue, from infrastructure, infrastructure support services, satellite services and transportation-based services, while $70 billion is from international government expenditures from civilian and military agencies.

      The report adds that $57 billion, or about one-third, is attributable to U.S. government expenditures, and $80 billion, or nearly half, is attributable to satellite-based products and services.

      Commercial transportation services (space tourism) accounts only for less than one percent. That doesn’t mean space tourism involves minor money, though. Space flights can cost up to $20 million per tourist passenger.

      More than 50 industry leaders interviewed for The Space Report identified trends in technology, policy and business that make up the outlook for the global space industry.

      Additionally, The Space Report introduces the Space Foundation Space Index, which follows 30 companies that derive a significant portion of revenue from space activities through the same approach that Wall Street and investors use to track companies.

      The Space Foundation Space Index increased by more than eight percent and outperformed the NASDAQ and S&P 500 indices by two to three percentage points during a 12 month period from June 2005 to June 2006, according to the foundation.

      The Space Report, roughly 150 pages, was peer reviewed by Henry R. Hertzfeld, research professor of space policy and international affairs at the Space Policy Institute in The George Washington University; Kevin W. Leclaire, managing partner, ISDR Consulting; Scott Pace, associate administrator for program and analysis evaluation at NASA; and Damon R. Wells, senior policy analyst, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

      Copies of the report can be purchased at on the Web. The executive summary of The Space Report is available free of charge online as a PDF.

      “We saw a need for one source for credible and comprehensive information about the space industry worldwide,” said Elliot G. Pulham, Space Foundation president and CEO. The Tauri Group served as technical lead, providing research, data and analysis.

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