According to the ‘2004 State of the Space Industry,’ a recently released publication of the International Space Business Council, the global space industry generated $96.9 billion in revenues in 2003 and is expected to reach $104.6 billion in 2004. A significant increase in US military contracts and continued expansion in commercial markets fuelled the growth.
‘As we begin 2004, there is a sense of optimism when it comes to the space and satellite marketplace,’ said Scott Sacknoff, author of the report. ‘We see that all of its core markets are on the upswing.
‘Government funding for space is on the rise, commercial orders for satellites and launch vehicles have rebounded, and the uptake of consumer services for satellite TV, radio, and broadband are all increasing.
‘Most importantly for the future, we see a number of new ventures, entrepreneurs and small businesses entering the marketplace.’
The report cites that for the industry, 2003 was a mixed year that saw China’s first manned launch, new rovers on the moon, the failure of the Space Shuttle, and the marketplace for commercial satellites and launchers trying to recover from a recent slump.
From an infrastructure point-of-view, the key has been an increase in the US military space budget from $15 billion to more than $20 billion. It is estimated to grow to $26-28 billion by 2009 as the military replaces most of its existing space assets.
Financially, during 2003 nine companies saw stock market gains of 100% or better. In addition, there were 40 mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $18 billion and 25 debt and bank transactions that totalled $18 billion.
Additional details on the ‘State of the Space Industry’ can be found here