Space Foundation Press Releases

U.S. Government Investment in Space Increases by 10% in 2018

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

  • New format will provide more timely snapshots of where the space community is going, its impacts and opportunities
  • Designed to improve our understanding of the reach, impact and health of the space community
  • First quarter revealed increased U.S. investment in space, increase in commercial workforce and record spacecraft deployments

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 11, 2019) – Today, at the 35th Space Symposium, the Space Foundation announced a new quarterly format to the previously annual publication, The Space Report, as well as several key findings.

For over a decade, The Space Report has chronicled the growth of the space community from around the world. Once an economic and technical domain where government investments and expenditures dominated, today’s space community has given rise to globally diverse, vibrant and technologically creative enterprises that are extraordinarily adept at creating new services, products and economic opportunities. 

That incredible evolution is now being reflected in The Space Report. Going forward, the Space Foundation’s Research and Analysis team will be producing quarterly snapshots of where the space community is going, its impacts and opportunities, as well as profiles of the challenges and choices it has before it.

During the presentation by Senior Research Analyst, John Holst, and Data Analyst, Becki Yukman, today at the Space Foundation’s 35th Space Symposium, several key findings from the first quarter, downloadable document were revealed, including:

  • The U.S. government investment in space increased by 10% in 2018;
  • Commercial space workforce grew 3% from 2016-2017. This is the first reversal of over a decade of workforce declines. At the beginning of 2019:
    • 16% of NASA’s workforce was under age 35
    • 37% of NASA’s workforce was over age 54, with 22% of the workforce eligible for retirement.
  • As of March 6, 2019, for 2018’s spacecraft/satellite deployment, the number of spacecraft deployed was a record-high, growing 5% from 2017’s record-high to 465 in 2018.

“For years, The Space Report has been the most authoritative guide to global space activity, said Rich Cooper, Space Foundation Vice President – Strategic Communications and Outreach.

“That is a distinction and mantle of responsibility that everyone at the Space Foundation is inherently proud to possess. Our evolution of The Space Report continues that charge and stewardship, and we look forward to sharing the space story for years to come.”

Like other major economy-measuring indicators that shape our awareness of what is happening around the world, the quarterly installments of The Space Report are being designed to improve our understanding of the reach, impact and health of the space community.

The Space Report is available for purchase for $250 a quarter, or for $499 for all four quarters at The full PDF is also available to subscribers to The Space Report Online.

Media interested in purchasing The Space Report should contact the Space Foundation at [email protected] for a discount code to receive all four quarters for $99.

*Attachment – Key visualizations exploring the U.S. space economy and workforce in 2018. Find this data and more in The Space Report 2019, Quarter 1.

About the Space Foundation

Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the world’s premier organization to inspire, educate, connect, and advocate on behalf of the global space community. It is a leader in space awareness activities, educational programs, and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium. Space Foundation headquarters is in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, and has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere®, and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a Washington, D.C., office and field representatives in Houston and the Florida Space Coast. It publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activityand through its Space Certification™ and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Visit both of our websites – and – and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

# # #