Credit: OECD

Credit: OECD

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has unveiled their new report: The Space Economy at a Glance 2014.

This new report provides a statistical overview of the global space sector and its contributions to economic activity.

The new edition provides indicators and statistics based on both official and private data, in over forty countries with space programs, and identifies new dynamics in the space sector.


The report notes that globalization is affecting the space economy at different levels.

In the 1980s, only a handful of countries had the capacity to build and launch a satellite. Many more countries and corporate players across a wide range of industrial sectors are now engaged in space-related activities, a trend that is expected to strengthen in the coming years.

Supply chains for the development and operation of space systems are also increasingly evolving at the international level, even if the space sector remains heavily influenced and shaped by strategic and security considerations. Many space technologies are dual use, i.e. employed for both civilian and military programs, which tends to constrain international trade in space products.

Nonetheless, as evidenced by recent OECD research on global value chains, product and service supply chains for space systems are internationalizing at a rapid pace.

Space budgets

Among key findings, the report states:

Countries with long-established space programs face growing challenges as lower costs and technological advances draw more countries and companies into the sector and give rise to a burgeoning commercial space industry.

The Space Economy at a Glance 2014 shows that while space budgets in the 34 OECD countries totaled USD 50.8 billion in 2013, down from USD 52.3 billion in 2008, the combined space budget of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) swelled to USD 24.0 billion from USD 16.5 billion over the same period.

To view this new OECD (2014) report, go to:

One Response to “OECD Report: A New Space Race”

  • The following is absolutely incorrect. It cannot be validated with any trustworthy references.

    “Space debris: a growing problem for the long-term sustainability of satellite operations
    The number of space debris in the most used orbits around the Earth is still growing. Several commercial satellite operators and the International Space Station partners have had to repeatedly use space debris avoidance maneuvers over the past couple of years (e.g. four maneuvers for the International Space Station alone in 2012). The annual rate of new tracked debris began to decrease in the 1990s, largely because of national debris mitigation efforts, but accel- erated in recent years as a result of collision due to the Chinese destruction of one of its satellites in 2007, and the 2009 impact of an active U.S. Iridium satellite and a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite.
    Experts estimate that there are over 300 000 objects with a diameter larger than one centimetre and several million that are smaller. The U.S. Department of Defense’s Space Surveillance Network currently tracks some 23 000 pieces of debris approximately 10 centimeter in diameter or larger, with a detailed catalog of more than 16 000 objects. The Inter-Agency Space Debris Co-ordination Committee (IADC) includes twelve major space agencies. They developed in 2007 joint “Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines”, which were later endorsed by a United Nations’ General Assembly resolution. This was followed in 2010 by the ISO standard 24113, which became the top-level standard in a series of standards addressing space debris mitigation. A series of lower level implementation standards provide methods and processes to industry and governmental actors to enable compliance with these requirements (ISO, 2014). A number of recent satellite failures in orbit (e.g. Envisat, Briz-M) have demonstrated the complexity of securing orbits and the need for more international co-operation to find solutions to mitigate and free up orbits of some space debris if possible, for the long-term sustainability of key orbits.”

    IADC guidelines were adopted IN PART by UN COPUOS in its guidelines. There is no UN resolution. I chair ISO TC20/SC14/WG3, which wrote 24113. 24113 also dies not accept or validate all IADC guidelines. Some are infeasible! We cannot free orbits of space debris. There will always be space debris. We must live with it. Mankind contaminates all environments it exploits. There are issues over what should be sustained and why. Sustainability is an abstraction. Finally, no operator has to maneuver to avoid debris. When they do, it is a judgement call. Several maneuvers have increased risk rather than reducing it. Finally, it cannot be proved that any maneuvers made any difference. There is at least a 99.9% probability that there would have been no collision for any close approach that provoked a maneuver. These are verifiable facts.

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