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May 15 2015

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Overall government spending on Space decreased 4% in 2014

During 2014, $66.5 Billion Spent On Government Space Programs, According To New Euroconsult Report.

Some of the highlights:

  • The number of countries that spent over $10 mill on Space (60) has more than doubled since 2004.
  • Russia has increased Space spending 11% in rubles over the past five years, but because the ruble has tanked, actual expenditures have decreased 11% just in the past year (this article that I read this morning seems appropriate…they talk like a long, drawn-out oil price war is a bad thing…which it ain’t)
  • China has surpassed France as the fourth largest space nation, and only trails the US, Russia and Japan.
  • The U.S. invested $34.7 billion in its space program (civil and defense) in 2014, confirming the downward trend initiated since the start of the decade

The last point is interesting. There is no doubt that .gov spending has been decreasing (in this area…the rest of the .gov is spending money like a drunken sailor who just won the Super Lotto on New Year’s Eve in 1999), but I would argue that .gov Space is starting to get more bang for the buck now than in the past. Even ignoring the obvious example of SpaceX (the US Air Force is going to see HUGE launch savings when they finally certify SpaceX next month)

  • American technology innovations are making satellites cheaper, smaller, and more capable. CubeSat utilization is skyrocketing, and US Govt programs are starting to include them in design trades
  • Taking the Xprize model to heart, NASA is relying more and more on Challenges to fund innovation. This places the brunt of the risk on the contractor/innovator, and not on the taxpayer
  • NASA is also teaming with the commercial world via Space Act Agreements, providing technical expertise invaluable to commercial space development.

Of course, there’s also a vibrant Commercial Space industry in the US, which isn’t part of the analysis above.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/05/15/overall-government-spending-on-space-decreased-4-in-2014/

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