Measuring the Space Economy

Measuring the Space Economy [Oct/2019]

Since Space is not recognised as a category in international standards of industrial classification, worldwide national space statistics differ in definition, coverage and methodology, generating a lack of international comparability. The structure of space economy data is therefore highly fragmented and the space sector not yet set up to consistently collect and report data supporting the evaluation of socio-economic impacts. However, with the impetus of the OECD, the setting of the OECD Space Forum and the growing involvement of ESA Member States notably through ESA Space Economy Steering Committee, a global dialogue has paved the way towards shared definitions, starting with the complex and enlarging space value chain.

The OECD Space Forum defines three space segments setting up the perimeters of space activities, products and services as follows:

  1. The upstream segment includes: research, space manufacturing and ground systems (fundamental and applied research activities, scientific and engineering support activities, material and components supply, manufacturing of space systems, subsystems and equipment, telemetry, tracking and command stations).
  2. The downstream segment includes: space operations for terrestrial use, and products and services which rely on satellite technology, signal, data to function (e.g. satellite broadcasting, selected GIS, GNSS-enabled devices).
  3. The space-related segment finally includes space applications, products and services from spin-offs or technology transfer from the space sector, which use satellite technology but do not depend on it (low incorporated quantities of “space” components).

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