Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation's The Space Report 2009 Reveals Industry Growth to $257 Billion in Global Space Revenues for 2008

Written by: developer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Mar. 30, 2009) — Despite the tumultuous world economy, 2008 was a year of extraordinary events and economic growth for the space industry, according to The Space Report 2009: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity. 2008 was marked by a number of space firsts and by growth in overall worldwide revenues.

Released by the Space Foundation at the 25th National Space Symposium, which opened today in Colorado Springs, Colo., The Space Report 2009 is the definitive overview of the global space industry and serves as a valuable resource for government and business leaders, educators, financial analysts, students, and space-related businesses. Copies may be purchased at the Symposium or online from

One of the most significant revelations in The Space Report 2009 is that the global space economy grew nearly 2.5 percent in 2008, rising by $6 billion to $257 billion in worldwide space revenues. Perhaps even more indicative of the state of space is that the largest segments of the space economy were in commercial infrastructure and commercial satellite services, which together totaled 67 percent, compared to about 32 percent for government space spending. The largest growth sectors were space products and services, which grew 10.4 percent from $82.4 billion to $91 billion. The majority of this figure is attributable to direct-to-home television services, which generated $69.8 billion in 2008. Fixed satellite services showed the strongest growth rate in the services sector, with revenue up 31 percent from $12.8 billion to $16.8 billion.

Even with this growth, space industry stocks suffered along with the world economy in 2008. The Space Foundation Index, which tracks the market performance of 29 public companies that derive a significant amount of their revenue from space-related assets and activities, revealed that space stocks in U.S. markets declined 45 percent in 2008, erasing the gains from three consecutive years of growth. Still, space investment and output remained strong in 2008 and continued to provide hundreds of thousands of highly compensated jobs.

This year, The Space Report 2009 launched two additional indexes to help analysts better track public equity market space stocks:

-The Space Foundation Infrastructure Index, which tracks performance of space-related hardware, software, and integration services for space-related applications such as manufacturing of satellites, launch vehicles, terminals and chipsets.

– The Space Foundation Services Index, which tracks performance of companies that derive significant revenues from services that depend on space assets for collection, transmission, and/or provisioning, such as those related to satellite broadcasting, communications, and remote sensing.

All three indexes are updated daily on the Space Foundation’s Web site, at

“Despite the immensely challenging economic time, the space business remains a good business,” said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham. “The Space Report clearly illustrates that, although our industry is also feeling the pain of the economic downturn, space businesses have out-performed many other sectors.

The Space Report spells out many challenges,” he added, “But, there’s also innovation, advancement and real excitement about what’s happening in space today.”

The Space Report 2009 thoroughly examines and analyzes the state of the space industry. Covering primarily 2008 data, it contains information on global space budgets and revenues, a yearly summary, and a number of new features, including:

– A section examining trends in education and their impact on the space industry

– Greatly expanded data on international (non-U.S.) space activities

– A special report on astronomy and space science

– New information on spaceports and spaceport authorities/coalitions

– “The new education section in The Space Report 2009 waves the biggest warning flag for our nation,” said Pulham. “U.S. student performance in math and science continues to lag many other countries – including many that are starting to challenge U.S. leadership in space.

“And, we’re graduating fewer and fewer homegrown engineers and scientists,” he continued. “It’s a troublesome trend that must be addressed.”

The Space Report 2009 indicates that the long-term outlook for the global space industry is encouraging. “While the equity markets suffered, other measures of success – employment, payroll, output, manufacturing and launches – all grew and continue to improve year over year,” said Pulham. “Importantly, we’re seeing the real benefits of our space investments in the form of almost daily scientific and technological breakthroughs. Meanwhile the number of spacefaring nations is growing almost as rapidly.”

The Space Report 2009 is the result of extensive research by the Space Foundation and its team of independent research organizations. The methodology, which is refined every year, involves identifying, gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing data from publicly available sources, as well as industry publications and reports. More information is available at

The Space Report 2009 also provides an overview of the past year in space. Major accomplishments include:

– The discovery by the Phoenix Mars Lander* of water ice on Mars, a sign of the potential for life on the planet

– The successful destruction of a satellite by missile to prevent an uncontrolled fall from orbit

– The first Chinese spacewalk**, making China only the third nation to independently complete this feat

– Completion of 59 consecutive successful launches by the U.S. Air Force and its commercial contractors

– SpaceX’s launch of the first-ever orbital launch vehicle funded entirely with private capital, successfully carrying a payload into space***

The Space Report is a Green Publication
The materials used within and the processes of printing The Space Report 2009 have been certified as meeting the standards and requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Media Briefing
An in-depth briefing session for media will be held at 1:15 p.m. MDT on Tuesday, March 31, at the Media Center at the 25th National Space Symposium at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. Additional briefing sessions will be held in Washington, D.C., and New York City later this year.

About the 25th National Space Symposium
The Space Foundation’s 25th National Space Symposium, the premier annual gathering of the global space community, brings together all sectors of space – civil, commercial, national security, new space entrepreneurship, and finance – to highlight accomplishments and address opportunities and issues facing the global space community today. Themed The Next Space Age, this year’s program looks at major shifts in the economies, philosophies, and mechanics of the global space industry.

The symposium offers workshops, forums, panels and presentations, a number of special dinners and luncheons and presentation of several prestigious space-related awards. The symposium also includes extensive programs for selected teachers and students, a Space Career Fair, and the Boeing Exhibit Centers representing more than 140 organizations and companies. More than 7,500 registrants, guests, speakers, exhibitors, educators, students, and media representatives from around the world are expected to attend.

More information, including a program agenda, speaker list, sponsor list and exhibitor list, is available at

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is an international nonprofit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity. A leader in space awareness activities, major industry events, and educational enterprises that bring space into the classroom, the Space Foundation is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. It conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office and has field representatives in Houston, Texas, and Cape Canaveral, Fla. In addition to the 25th National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation, along with partnering organizations, will also conduct Space Business Forum: New York on June 4, 2009, in New York, N.Y., and an event with the United States Strategic Command this fall in Omaha, Neb. For more information visit

* The Phoenix Mars Lander Team is being honored today by the Space Foundation at the 25th National Space Symposium with the John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration
** The Chinese Shenzhou 7 Mission, which completed the spacewalk among a number of other accomplishments, is being honored today at the 25th National Space Symposium with the Space Achievement Award
***Elon Musk, chief executive officer and chief technical officer of SpaceX is speaking at the 25th National Space Symposium on April 1