Author Topic: How many people today work in the space industry?  (Read 844 times)

Offline SpaceRiser

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Does anyone know how many people today work in the space industry? Is it already 1 million …or more?

Offline Jim

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #1 on: 10/10/2017 03:35 PM »
Does anyone know how many people today work in the space industry? Is it already 1 million …or more?

In the US, it would be less.  Worldwide, who knows?

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #2 on: 10/10/2017 04:24 PM »
Does anyone know how many people today work in the space industry? Is it already 1 million …or more?

How would you define "work in the space industry"?

Would that include launchers and payloads, or just one of them?

Also, are you only looking at the employees of those companies (launchers and/or payloads), or are you considering major and minor subcontractors too?

You'll find that with questions that are too broad you'll never get a good answer, so the better you can narrow the focus the better the answer will be.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline savuporo

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Offline SpaceRiser

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/2017 05:48 PM »
Thanks savuporo, this is very usefull.
In addition, Wikipedia says, that "According to Rogozin, the Russian space sector employs about 250,000 people(...)". If we add India, China we might actually be close to 1mln people.

Offline savuporo

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/2017 05:56 PM »
Also OECD will give you a global overview of space economy, including workforces. Their latest edition is 2014

http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/economics/the-space-economy-at-a-glance-2014_9789264217294-en#.Wd0JadhlCUk#page18
« Last Edit: 10/10/2017 05:58 PM by savuporo »
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Offline meberbs

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #6 on: 10/10/2017 06:19 PM »
Does anyone know how many people today work in the space industry? Is it already 1 million …or more?

How would you define "work in the space industry"?

Would that include launchers and payloads, or just one of them?

Also, are you only looking at the employees of those companies (launchers and/or payloads), or are you considering major and minor subcontractors too?

You'll find that with questions that are too broad you'll never get a good answer, so the better you can narrow the focus the better the answer will be.
The data above shows this issue well. The first source says 220,000 U.S. employees, the second says more like 75,000. The other numbers match up pretty well, but this is significantly off. My guess is the 220,000 is closer to the answer for the intended question, but the reason for the disparity would be interesting.

Also, That graph for China seems like something must be wrong. Around 80% of employees disappear in a couple years, then it holds steady while revenues are rapidly rising. Not completely impossible but pretty unlikely, and much more likely that something is off about the data, such as a change in methodologies.

Offline Jim

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #7 on: 10/10/2017 06:49 PM »
Thanks savuporo, this is very usefull.
In addition, Wikipedia says, that "According to Rogozin, the Russian space sector employs about 250,000 people(...)". If we add India, China we might actually be close to 1mln people.

No, Russia does less than the US and would be smaller.  Same with the Chinese.

Offline D_Dom

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #8 on: 10/10/2017 07:47 PM »
I agree with Coastal Ron, it all depends on how you define working in the space industry. Operations at satellite control centers are around the clock, USAF employs 5K+, a mix of military and civilian ops personnel, according to Wiki. I would count these as "working in the space industry". NASA in 2012 employed 79K, clearly not all work in space related jobs. Where would you draw the line between earth observation data collection, analysis, etc and "working in the space industry"?
Space is not merely a matter of life or death, it is considerably more important than that!

Offline savuporo

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #9 on: 10/10/2017 09:31 PM »
Also, That graph for China seems like something must be wrong. Around 80% of employees disappear in a couple years, then it holds steady while revenues are rapidly rising. Not completely impossible but pretty unlikely, and much more likely that something is off about the data, such as a change in methodologies.

Perhaps they kept firing people until something stopped working. Common corporate cost cutting strategy :D
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Offline Asteroza

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #10 on: 10/11/2017 08:15 AM »
Also, That graph for China seems like something must be wrong. Around 80% of employees disappear in a couple years, then it holds steady while revenues are rapidly rising. Not completely impossible but pretty unlikely, and much more likely that something is off about the data, such as a change in methodologies.

Perhaps they kept firing people until something stopped working. Common corporate cost cutting strategy :D

Counting launchpad construction workers, who may or may not also be PLA soldiers? After a construction campaign, they gotta go back to their main job...

Online woods170

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #11 on: 10/11/2017 08:51 AM »
Thanks savuporo, this is very usefull.
In addition, Wikipedia says, that "According to Rogozin, the Russian space sector employs about 250,000 people(...)". If we add India, China we might actually be close to 1mln people.

No, Russia does less than the US and would be smaller.  Same with the Chinese.
You severely underestimate the Russian capability to "bloat" an industry.

Offline ZachF

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #12 on: 10/11/2017 05:31 PM »
Thanks savuporo, this is very usefull.
In addition, Wikipedia says, that "According to Rogozin, the Russian space sector employs about 250,000 people(...)". If we add India, China we might actually be close to 1mln people.

No, Russia does less than the US and would be smaller.  Same with the Chinese.
You severely underestimate the Russian capability to "bloat" an industry.

There are large differences in worker productivity between the US, Russia, and China.

It would not surprise me at all if the US had the largest by dollar and the smallest by labor force of the three.

The US has a GDP of $19 trillion, it takes ~150 million workers to get this.
China has a GDP of $11 trillion, it takes them ~800 million workers.
Russia is $1.3 trillion with ~70 million workers.


...But it all depends on where you decide to 'draw the line' so to speak, I doubt any existing statistics are high signal/low noise enough to generate a discussion around.

Online zhangmdev

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Re: How many people today work in the space industry?
« Reply #13 on: 10/11/2017 06:03 PM »
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) employs over 170,000 people. But it is a huge corporation making loads of different products other than launch vehicles and spacecraft. It is very hard to determine how many are actually making space stuff. And it is also very hard to determine its revenue. Chinese gov does not disclose how many billions will be awarded to who to produce what.

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