The OECD publishes "The Space Economy in Figures: Responding to Global Challenges" report [Feb/2024]
The new edition of “The Space Economy in Figures: Responding to Global Challenges” was published on 15 December 2023 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In this reference document, analysis based on internationally comparable data is performed to provide a comprehensive and coherent picture of the space economy, The work focuses on the actions that should be implemented by governments across OECD countries to improve and further develop their space-based systems, which today support critical infrastructures and services (such as transportation, energy, food supply and law enforcement).
It is first highlighted how newly launched satellites helped better monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. Space applications are key to monitor the environment, and to contribute to disaster prevention and emergency response, as well as to provide communication services via satellite TV and radio.
One of the crucial elements highlighted in the report is the significant increase in space activities worldwide. The number of operational satellites in orbit has doubled by the end of 2022 in only two years, with over two-thirds of satellites coming from commercial operators. This is strongly linked to the access to reusable launch technologies, smaller satellites, and increased competition, resulting in a significant operational cost reduction. In addition commercial space activities have also significantly increased, as demonstrated by the number of commercial satellites launches and the amount of private investment in the space sector.
Although these phenomena are described as positively contributing to the integration of space in the broader society and economy across OECD countries, there are still numerous challenges to address in the development of space activities. For instance targeted policy intervention is recommended to better regulate access to space and its resources, to ensure a fair and broad distribution of the benefits of space technologies across countries.
Finally, the need to tackle the issue of space debris with joint public-private action is highlighted in order to both better track and remove the debris in orbit.
For more information please find the publication here.