The science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is at the core of the space industry—from the mathematicians and astronomers who analyze space to the engineers who design and build the launch vehicles that get us there. This workforce is enabled . . .
Around the globe, many smaller nations—whether in terms of economy or population size—are investing in space projects or programs. The exhibit below shows the most recent available annual budget for civil space activities in a number of selected space states.
Cities in Belgium and Ireland are finding interesting ways to keep traffic moving using space technology and communications networks.
The largest in-space platform ever constructed is the International Space Station (ISS). “Led by the United States, the ISS draws upon the scientific and technological resources of 16 nations: Canada, Japan, Russia, 11 nations of the European Space Agency [Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom], and Brazil,” according to NASA.
Non-U.S. military estimates, which are for 2004, include the following countries: United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Israel. China’s budget includes both military and civil expenditures. Note that the estimate of China’s space budget is controversial. At a NASA budget hearing in April 2006, much of the discussion was about the possible size of China’s space program and its ability to complete its plans to land astronauts on the Moon in 2017.
Military space spending among European countries in 2006 totaled $## billion (€## million), according to the European Space Policy Institute, a research institute founded and supported by European aerospace industry partners. For 2004, Euroconsult estimates non-U.S. space spending at $## billion. Countries included in this estimate are the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Israel. Data on international military space spending is generally held closely and difficult to find in public sources. Until better data becomes available, we will continue to use this 2004 figure as an estimate in our aggregated number.
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The number of FSS satellites has grown tremendously over the past five years in response to increased demand. Deregulation of international markets has sparked the rise of new companies providing content to customers via satellite. Harmonization of digital transmission standards has helped manufacturers, allowing for economies of scale and more cost-effective distribution.
A technology developed by ESA is helping rural areas to provide on-demand public bus service. In many rural areas, public transportation connections are infrequent. Governments are reluctant to increase public transportation services where revenue does not justify the expense.