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2008


Education STEM Proficiency

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 . . .

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2008 – U.S. Space Workforce: Methodology

The Space Report 2009 builds on the baseline U.S. space employment analysis introduced in 2008. Drawing upon the most recent data, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2007, the report surveys employment and salary numbers for the six space-related industry sectors described in Exhibit 4b.

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2008 – European Suborbital

In addition to development of personal spaceflight vehicles in the United States, in July 2007 the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) announced plans to develop a suborbital vehicle to serve the personal spaceflight market. The EADS vehicle, yet to be named, would employ conventional jet engines to climb to ## kilometers (## miles) before igniting rockets to reach altitudes above ## kilometers (## miles). EADS estimates vehicle development will cost €## billion (US$## billion). The company plans to begin operation of the vehicle in 2012.

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2008 – Russia Launch, Payload

In each of the past five years from 2004 through 2008, Russia has led the world in the number of orbital launches. In 2008, Russia matched its 2007 launch rate, conducting ## orbital launches. Consistent with years past, nearly two-thirds of Russia’s 2008 launches used one of two vehicles, the Proton and Soyuz. Other Russian vehicles active in 2008 included the Dnepr, Kosmos 3M, Molniya, Rockot, and the Soyuz 2.

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2008 – U.S. Launch, Payload

Five U.S. launch vehicles performed orbital missions in 2008: the Atlas V, Delta II, Falcon 1, Pegasus XL, and the Space Shuttle. All but the Falcon 1 have been in service for at least six years, with extensive operational histories including at least a dozen successful orbital launches. 

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2008 – Orbital Launch Reports and Forecasts

From the launch of the Sputnik satellite on October 4, 1957, through the end of 2008, approximately ## orbital launches have occurred.  These missions carried some ten thousand satellites, experiments, probes, landers, and other spacecraft on trajectories ranging from Earth orbit to missions beyond our solar system.

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2008 – Demographics

Women constituted a majority of students who received post-secondary degrees. In 2006, some 58% of all bachelor’s degrees were awarded to women, up from 51% in 1986. In degree fields critical to the space industry, however, women are still woefully underrepresented.

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2008 – Post-secondary STEM Education

New manpower, especially the recruitment of talented college graduates with degrees in such fields as astronomy; aeronautical and astronautical engineering; atmospheric, Earth, and space sciences; and mathematics, will be key to ensuring the health and vitality of the country’s space industry. What follows is an overview of a few major trends in postsecondary science and engineering education.

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