Science and Space Technology Development

The NASA (USA civil space agency) budget is about $14 billion per year. Your crystal ball is as good as mine, but few people expect this to increase substantially. Other nations have their own programs (see CSTS, section, page 137 for funding levels for each one). I don't know what universities spend with funding from foundations, endowments, or other sources, or what they might spend if launch costs were lower. Reliability an issue for governments, because most (all?) self-insure and don't budget in a way that ensures reflight of destroyed payloads.

For general information on the various programs, much is on the web; Ben Huset's space page or Yahoo's space page are the usual catch-all lists of links; the Russian Space Industry page from the Federation of American Scientists provides comprehensive information about Russian commercial and government programs.

One market I am going to lump in with science is detection of asteriods which might collide with Earth (for example, the NEAT program). While the justification of being able to do something about a disaster is a somewhat distinct justification from knowledge which may not have as concrete a benefit, cataloging asteriods is basically a scientific program with no concrete short-term benefits. Most estimates of the frequency of asteriod impacts indicate that impacts are rare enough that it is hard to see the possibility of impacts kicking loose money for more than modest cataloging programs.

This page is part of Jim Kingdon's space markets page.