| CAPE CANAVERAL
CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. May 20 Worldwide spending
on satellites, launches and support services increased to $314
billion in 2013, up 4 percent from 2012, even though the U.S.
government reduced its own space spending, an industry
association reported this week.
Commercial space activity, including rocket launches to fly
cargo to the International Space Station, fueled most of the
growth, the report by the U.S. Space Foundation said.
"Fifty-seven years after the launch of the first satellite,
the space industry is rapidly evolving," said the foundation's
annual Space Report, released on Monday.
"It is clear that space technology continues to become more
accessible each year to a wider variety of end-users in an
increasing number of countries," it said. "The outlook for the
space sector is very bright in the years to come."
Globally, commercial revenues and government spending on
space projects totaled $314 billion -- $12 billion than the $302
billion spent in 2012, the report showed.
Commercial space products and services, such as communication
services via satellite and space-based navigation, increased 7
percent in 2013 over the previous year.
In all, governments spent 1.7 percent less in 2013 than they
did in 2012, but there were notable exceptions. Canada, India,
Russia, South Korea and the United Kingdom, for example, each
hiked space spending by 25 percent or more.
Despite the increased revenue, U.S. employment in the space
industry continued its six-year decline, the latest figures from
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.
In 2012, there were 234,173 people employed in the industry,
down from 242,724 in 2011.
Meanwhile, Japanese and European industry space employment
grew by 11 percent and 1.5 percent respectively in 2012.
On the civilian government side, NASA's 18,068-member
workforce was essentially unchanged for the 2014 fiscal year
that began Oct. 1.
Analysts noted a slight uptick in the number of launches
worldwide, with 81 launches in 2013 -- three more than in 2012.
The five-year average is 79 launches per year.
Russia continued to dominate the world launch market, with
36 flights in 2013. The United States, after falling behind
China for the past two years, came in a distant second with 19
launches in 2013.
China had 15 launches in 2013 and Europe conducted seven, the
In total, those 81 rockets delivered almost two-thirds more
satellites into orbit in 2013 than in the previous year.
"This was largely due to a significant uptick in the number
of satellites with masses below 200 pounds (91 kg)," the Space
Foundation said in a press release.
"These micro-satellites constituted more than half of the
197 satellites launched in 2013," the foundation said.
"Many of the micro-satellites were short-lived technology
demonstrations, but there is a considerable degree of interest
in future possibilities for constellations," it added.
(Reporting by Irene Klotz, Editing by David Gregorio)