Making Money In Space

Posted: November 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
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How do you make money in, to, through, or from space?  Normally it’s a pretty simple recipe: sell space-related goods and services to the U.S. government.

But what if your space-industry is non-U.S. based?  Then you have to create your own future:

The UK space industry has defied gravity during the recession to grow by 10 per cent a year since 2007, according to a new report.

The increase in jobs has been even more spectacular, at 15 per cent a year.

OK, chances are the UK space industry sells less to Uncle Sam than its U.S. space-cousins.

The best-performing sectors have been satellite broadcasting, telecoms and satellite navigation. But genuine space work, such as satellite manufacturing, has also seen healthy growth of 3 per cent a year. Richard Peckham, chair of UK Space, said: “We had anecdotal evidence that we were doing well through the recession but now we have the hard numbers and it is very positive.”

OK (again), three per cent is better than (wait for it) anything less than three percent, but is that healthy, and if so, compared to what?  Similarly, how long can ten percent growth continue?  I mean that sounds like China’s economy.

…the UK space business is now worth about £7.5bn a year and it predicts that growth is set to continue. UK Space recently set out its vision for the next 20 years and is promoting a privately financed Earth-observation service to acquire imagery for the Ministry of Defence and other government departments. Government and industry spending could help create 100,000 new jobs and increase revenues to £40bn a year, it said.

Actually 10 percent growth would take revenues to £40bn a year after only 12 years.  Do-able?  Not unless the UK “space productivity” competes favorably with the Indians, Chinese, and SpaceX.


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