Space Foundation Press Releases

Commercial Space Revenues Propel Global Space Economy to Grow 55% Over Decade

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Space Foundation Releases 36th Annual Space Symposium Special Edition Revealing Commercial Space Revenue Grew 6.6% in 2020, Exceeding $356B 

  • Infrastructure and support industries grew the most, by 16.4%, surpassing $137B
  • Products and services grew 1.2%, accounting for over 60% of commercial space
  • More than 1,100 SmallSats launched in 2020, 92% of all spacecraft deployed

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Aug. 24, 2021 — Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, today released “The Space Report 2021 36th Annual Space Symposium Special Edition,” which explores commercial space revenues, the global space workforce, the market for small launch vehicle developers, sustainability for lunar exploration, the SmallSat economy, the potential of nuclear power and propulsion, and the future of international lunar space policy.

The Space Report 2021 36th Annual Space Symposium Special Edition” found that the global space economy, which reached $447B in 2020, was 176% greater than in Space Foundation’s first economic analysis in 2005. Nearly 80% of this total in 2020 was commercial revenues.

This edition also takes a two-pronged look at recent shifts in small launch vehicle and SmallSat development. In addition to comprising 92% of all spacecraft deployed in 2020, an increase from only 27% a decade ago, SmallSats have more than doubled in average size over the same period. As such, small-lift launchers such as Rocket Lab are developing larger rockets, seeking to court the mega-constellation deployments and hundred-plus satellite rideshares of the past few years.

About The Space Report

The Space Report is the authoritative report on the global space ecosystem, covering space exploration and space-inspired industries on Earth. Published by Space Foundation since 2006 and operating under Symposium 365 division, The Space Report is available on a subscription basis, providing policy analysts, congressional staff, investors, media, and space industry newcomers with research and insight on trends and opportunities with informative articles and quarterly reports. Highlighting each report is an overview of the latest data available on the space economy, space infrastructure, and other key industry indicators as well as analysis of commercial, government and educational events impacting business, workforce and our daily lives. For more information, please visit

About Space Foundation

Space Foundation is a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, offering a gateway to information, education and collaboration for space exploration and space-inspired industries that define the global space ecosystem. Driven by a partnership model, Space Foundation operates three divisions that unite the entire spectrum of stakeholders — business, government, education and local communities — through corporate membership, sponsorship, fundraising and grants. Symposium 365 is the premier source for media and events, offering authoritative news and information and venues for networking and conducting business, including the world-renowned Space Symposium and The Space ReportCenter for Innovation and Education is a lifelong learning platform, offering workforce development and economic opportunity for students, teachers, entrepreneurs and professionals. Global Alliance facilitates collaboration around the world for open dialogues and joint programs. Visit Space Foundation at, and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube.

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Tags: Space Foundation, The Space Report, Space Symposium, space economy, space technology, space innovation, space ecosystem, space advocate, space commerce, workforce development, space exploration, space-inspired industries

Media Contacts:

Rich Cooper
Vice President, Strategic Communications & Outreach
Space Foundation
(202) 596-0714
[email protected]

Dottie O’Rourke
TECHMarket Communications
(650) 344-1260
[email protected]