The Importance of Space to the US Economy

Shortsighted, reckless plan: Cutting NASA’s budget would hurt economy BY ROBERT HOPKINS in Florida Today

Hertzfeld observed, although immense, the economic value of these space-based services and applications is not fully appreciated and is not included when calculating the size of the space economy.

In the same vein, former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher explained that more than 87 percent of the U.S. GDP, or $12.1 trillion, results from private-sector activity that depends on access to and use of space systems, applications and infrastructure.

This activity comprises nearly every conceivable industry — agriculture, mining, transportation, utilities, insurance, finance, education, information.

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One Response to The Importance of Space to the US Economy

  1. There is a great deal of public ignorance and cynicism toward space exploration. Just today I read several blog comments regarding today’s lunar mission launch. Their quality ranged from angry to idiotic.
    One of the most dismaying comments I just read on an AP wire story suggested that the moon launch today is being done to draw attention away from NASA’s embarassment to do with the leaky shuttle (as if NASA can throw together a moon mission on a PR whim).
    Blog comments like that are common after any space-related article I read. But such unbridled ignorance doesn’t trouble me as much as the naysaying I see from thoughtful people in and out of government.
    Perhaps its time to focus more on education via number crunching, as in the article above. Since 1970ish, romanticizing space exploration hasn’t been sufficiently persuasive. And pretty pictures from Hubble only help so much.

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