Astronautics, being the main product of world scientific and technological progress, has itself become a powerful engine of this progress, continuously transferring to other areas of the world economy an inestimable and unprecedented flow of new materials, technologies, and scientific developments, making a significant contribution to ensuring the sustainable development of mankind. At the present stage, space activity and its research and production base have already become a naturally functioning branch of the global economy, subject to universal patterns and development trends.

At the same time, the space sector of the global economy demonstrates dynamic and stable development, which is associated with the processes of a powerful transfer of space technologies from the military to the civil sphere, and the development on this basis of a whole range of commercial services related to the space industry and development. All this in general contributes to the commercialization of space activities and the rapid growth of the space industry, the development and sale of space products, technologies, and services, which, in turn, gives a strong impetus to increased industry competition at different levels: global, interregional, interstate and national.

In turn, the global space market is a large and rapidly growing segment of the global high-tech market. As you know, one of the key drivers of modern economic progress is innovative technologies in the field of microelectronics, digital and information systems, software, communications and telecommunications, new composite materials, etc. Most of these developments originate in various areas of the space industry and have a significant impact on the most diverse areas of modern life.

It is known that a significant part of space developments remains classified and belongs to the exclusive conduct of state policy in the field of national security. At the same time, the defining trends in the development of modern space activities are the increased conversion of space technologies and developments, their demilitarization, and their use for commercial purposes. In this regard, space activities are usually differentiated into closed military space (military space) and open civil and commercial space (civilian and commercial space).

In general, space activity is an inexhaustible and constantly developing source of innovative technologies in virtually all areas of modern life support. At the same time, many branches of production and services in the world economy are directly dependent on the development of space activities. In this regard, every year space activities attract the attention of an increasing number of not only states and their associations, but also large transnational corporations. The expansion of the market and the progressive increase in its participants have an impact on the growth of the turnover of financial resources in the industry.

The formation and development of the world space market reflect the processes of internationalization of space activities, post-industrialization, and globalization of the world economy. An analysis of the development of space activities as a segment of the global high-tech market makes it possible to identify the following sustainable processes:

  • The circle of countries carrying out research or applied programs with the use of space facilities is steadily expanding. Based on economic and/or political interests, these countries develop and maintain a level of technology that meets the requirements of the space market, defense, and security;
  • In the implementation of projects, the concentration of resources and cooperation of various countries is increasingly practiced. An illustrative example is the European Space Agency (ESA), created by 14 countries;
  • Developing countries are pursuing space activities mainly as a solution to economic development problems. They are deploying space applications, such as telecommunications and communication systems, provided to them by countries with developed space capabilities;
  • Requirements to increase the efficiency of funds invested in space research and development, to reduce unit costs in the practical use of space objectively entail the diffusion of civil and military technologies. The principle of “dual use” is becoming more and more widespread: civilian space assets (including commercial ones) in the interests of solving military problems and vice versa;
  • At the initial stages of the exploration and use of outer space, space programs in all countries are financed from the state budget, and as certain areas of activity reach the level of profitability, their state funding is curtailed;
  • The scope of commercial space activities and the share of private investment in the total volume of its financing is growing rapidly. Government spending cuts are offset by private business investments in commercial projects;
  • Commercial space activities are becoming more complex. It covers both the actual development and production only on the scale of space vehicles, including a number of commercially created launch vehicles and universal reusable space platforms, and ground infrastructure, including ground control stations for spacecraft;
  • The growing competition between countries and corporations forms market forces that give impetus to integration processes in the industry of space facilities and services, the unification of individual companies into large international corporations, unions and consortiums;
  • Competition between countries in the field of space activities is shifting from the level of commodity competition to the level of national innovation systems, which include, in addition, to direct production, the education system, the fundamental and applied scientific industry;
  • Integration into global economic relations is one of the main factors stimulating the intensity of innovation processes in space activities;
  • The increasing level of complexity of space products and services and the scientific, technical, and environmental problems associated with their creation are steadily increasing the requirements for space technologies. Together with competition, this process is provided only by expensive innovations, which are then replicated in other sectors of the economy;
  • large space enterprises, in order to achieve greater financial stability and efficiency, create networks of subsidiaries around themselves that master and promote not only high-tech products but also the developed technologies themselves;
  • The global nature of space activities demanded the emergence and development of space law (primarily international) – a new area of ​​jurisprudence that regulates relations in the process of exploration and use of outer space both at the national and international levels.

Thus, space activity is a very promising field of activity, which is already making a significant contribution to the economy of various countries and regions of the world. Its characteristic feature is the high rate of space exploration and the relative speed of obtaining practical economic effects.

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