Operating in the space sector involves risks. Space launch is complex and launch failures are possible, even for well-established vehicles. New vehicles typically carry even greater risk. Once spacecraft successfully reach orbit, issues may arise due to factors such as space weather, space debris and a crowded orbital environment. To deal with these risks, many companies in the space sector invest in space insurance. As of 2023, there were about 25 direct space insurance companies worldwide.
Orbital launch attempts have more than tripled since a lull in activity in the early 2000s bottomed out at 55 attempts in 2004. Part of the rapid growth in the past few years is due to a sharp increase in launch vehicle operators after a long period with an average just shy of 10 distinct operators per year.
Two of the top three launch operators — CNSA and SpaceX — have contributed to overall launch activity growth by exponentially increasing their pace, while the third — Roscosmos — decreased its annual launches by 42% from 2000 to 2022.
“Space education, research, and workforce development in the public and private sectors are core components of the U.S. national interest, with the potential to drive exploration and scientific discovery, to find new solutions for pressing challenges, including climate change, to strengthen American national security, and to provide good-paying jobs for Americans,” the roadmap document states.
Gallagher said the military must accelerate its efforts in space and cyberspace to keep pace with Russia and China, improving Pentagon cybersecurity and redesigning Space Force satellites to harden constellations against attack.
Civil space activities in Japan are coordinated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which is funded primarily through the Ministry for Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).
The majority of the French space budget goes to the French space agency, the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES). About 36% of CNES spending, went toward ESA projects. An additional 31%, of CNES spending went to the national space program. The remaining funds, were allocated for maintaining national resources and the Future Investment Program (PIA).
This developing space strategy is reflected in growing military space spending by the United States, with the Pentagon more than doubling space budgets from $19.7 billion in 2005 to an estimated $41.4 billion in 2022.
Eight nations have launched lunar missions, but only three have landed on the Moon. In 2022, four missions were partially or fully successful, a tempo last seen in 1969 — the year the first humans stepped foot on the lunar surface.
The United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) is an executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for the United Kingdom’s civil space program.