Studies commissioned by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation have measured the commercial spaceflight industry’s total revenue, investment and employment levels, providing information to policymakers and the public.
According to the most recent Tauri Group study, which tabulated data through the end of 2008, total investment in the commercial human spaceflight sector has risen by 20% since January 2008, reaching a cumulative total of $1.46 billion. Revenues and deposits for commercial human spaceflight services, hardware and support services has also grown, reaching a total of $261 million for the year 2008.
The analytic study is based on aggregate data from a comprehensive survey of 22 companies engaged in commercial human spaceflight activities, including most Federation members. The Tauri Group study results, which updates a study conducted a year earlier, can be downloaded here [pdf].
Key findings include:
* Deposits and revenue for direct commercial human spaceflight services, such as flights of private citizens to the International Space Station and deposits on suborbital commercial human spaceflights, rose to $50.0M in 2008, compared to $38.8M in 2007 and $28.8M in 2006.
* Investment of $1.46 billion had been committed to the industry since January 2008, of which approximately $624 million had been spent (as of end of 2008). Sources of investment included individuals and angel investors (about 52%), private equity (about 30%), government (about 15%), and corporate reinvestment (about 4%).
* Revenue for commercial spaceflight hardware sales, development, and support services, increased to $211M in 2008, compared to $206M in 2007 and $123M in 2006.
* Total facility space expanded to 1,180,000 square feet (over 20 football fields) in 2008, compared to 762,100 square feet in 2007.
* The commercial human spaceflight industry reached an employment level of 1,186 workers in 2008, not including employees at the 22 companies who were engaged in activities unrelated to commercial human spaceflight.
Since the survey was primarily a rearward look at activities in the year 2008, several companies such as Orbital Sciences, United Launch Alliance (a Boeing-Lockheed joint venture) and other firms, which had made public expressions of interest in commercial human spaceflight, were not part of the tabulations above.