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 first attempted lunar mission was the Soviet Union’s Luna 1 impactor, which launched Jan. 2, 1959, and passed within only 5,995 kilometers of the Moon at its closest point. The Space Race brought a large wave of lunar activity in the 1960s, but there have only been a few missions in the decades since.
Space Foundation records show Pentagon space spending has more than doubled since 2005 from $19.7 billion to $41.4 billion
Chart shows military space spending at four-year intervals during President Barack Obama’s two terms, President Donald Trump’s term, and President Joe Biden’s current term.
The U.S. space sector is composed of more than 198,500 individuals across private sector and government organizations. Private sector space employment continued a trend of growth that began in 2016, adding approximately 3,000 new workers from 2020 to 2021 to reach 151,797 individuals. Space manufacturing led this growth, offsetting a slight decrease in the size of the satellite telecommunications workforce.
India’s Department of Space had 16,786 employees as of October 2021, a decrease of 1.8% from the previous year. India’s Department of Space had 16,786 employees as of October 2021, a decrease of 1.8% from the previous year. About 75% of the workforce is composed of science and technology workers, while the remainder focus on administration.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) employed 1,583 people at the end of 2021, an increase of 1.6% from 1,558 employees at the end of 2020. Approximately 70% of JAXA employees work in engineering and research, with the remainder focused on education and administration. JAXA does not face the same demographic challenges as some other space agencies: 22.0% of its workforce is under 35 years old and 17.9% is over 54.
The Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies reports that the Japanese space sector employed 8,527 individuals in 2020, the most recent year for which data is available. This is a 2.3% decrease from the 2019 total of 8,725 employees. More than 70% of these employees work in the space vehicles sector, which includes launch vehicles, satellites, and the international space station. The remaining employees work on ground facilities and software relevant to space. Slight decreases in employment occurred across all portions of the space sector.