Space Economy Taxonomy – Know.Space

Know.Space published “Size & Health of the UK Space Industry 2020, Summary Report for the UK Space Agency” on May 2021. The report provides insight into the UK space industry market size as well as providing a taxonomy of the space industry which serves as a basis for their analysis. This article summarizes the taxonomy.

Space Economy

The space economy consists of:

  • the space industry, and
  • the technology and innovation adopters of space applications.

The outputs of the space industry are consumed by commercial users, consumers, and public users. The commercial users are defined as businesses in a different industrial sector that utilize space applications operationally to improve delivery of their core proposition.

Scope of the Space Industry

The space industry is defined to include all organizations engaged in any space-related activities, comprising both:

  • Non-commercial organizations (e.g. universities and research institutions) that secure income to contribute space-related research and expertise throughout the industry supply chain, often in partnership with commercial organizations. Non-commercial income includes grant funding, core funding, research funding, tuition fees, departmental expenditures, and operating budgets.
  • Commercial organizations (i.e. companies, businesses, firms) that earn revenue from the manufacture, launch and operation of satellite/spacecraft, and from the utilization of signals and data supplied by satellites/spacecraft to develop value-added applications. Such organizations may also secure non-commercial income (e.g. grants) to undertake specific research and development.

Space Industry Taxonomy

The taxonomy used in the report has the following hierarchy: Industry, Segment, Activity; and is provided below:

  • Space industry
    • Space manufacturing
      • Launch vehicles and subsystems
      • Satellites/payloads/spacecraft and subsystems
      • Scientific instruments
      • Ground segment systems and equipment
      • Suppliers of materials and components
      • Scientific and engineering support
      • Fundamental and applied research
      • Space test facilities
    • Space operations
      • Launch services
      • Launch brokerage services
      • Proprietary satellite operation (including sale/lease)
      • Third-party ground segment operation
      • Ground station networks
      • In-orbit servicing
      • Debris removal
      • Space surveillance and tracking (SST)
      • Space tourism
      • In-space manufacturing
      • Spaceports
    • Space applications
      • Direct-to-home broadcasting (DTH)
      • Fixed satellite communication services
      • Mobile satellite communication services
      • Location-based signal service providers
      • Supply of user devices and equipment
      • Processors of satellite data
      • Applications leveraging satellite signals/data
      • Other
    • Ancillary services
      • Launch and satellite insurance (including brokerage) services
      • Legal and financial services
      • Software and IT services
      • Market research and consultancy services
      • Business incubation and development
      • Policymaking, regulation and oversight
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