View Full Version : Future SpacePowers - what is best for a workforce and jobs ?

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Mar-10, 11:57 PM
When I was younger I used to think how great it would be working inside those Space agency's, with jobs for missions, satellite launches, space designs, military applications and lunar spacecraft.

But now I see some of the other activity that goes on behind the Space industry like governments, politics and public opinions

Russia - seems to have large decreases in its Space budgets becoming a smaller and smaller fraction of GDP, yet in the past during Soviet times they have done some of the best missions. Russians might be trying for a comeback, the Russian Roskosmos might also be offering a promising spaceship Klipper, Roscosmos Russian project could see a Venus lander planned to survive from 2 months to 1 year on the surface of this Planet. The Russian economy is much weak than it was during the days of the Soviet Empire, but Russia may have big plans for space to mark the anniversary of Sputnik 1957 in 2007.

India, China, Japan and Brazil - India and China are rapid growing economies, they have an educated workforce and are try to do more commercial satellite launches with the CZ-2e, Long March-3C , the Indian PSLV and GSLV, India and China however lack experience & Brazil had a few mishaps but could be making a come back for Space, Japan has had to deal with 6 big failures in the past 8 years, JAXA's ( NASDA ) shuttle version crashed on landing plus the country is suffering from 15 years of economic stagnation, yet Japan has the technology and might be able to do something again and perhaps Brazil will return with big launches. India and China are also looking at the spin offs such as networking, aerospace designs, military benefits and satellite mapping in Asia.

USA - No country can really compare to what the Americans have done, they did fantastic with the Vikings to Mars, the great info and pictures form Apollo on the Moon and the Voyager missions. The US has the worlds largest economy and some of the greates scientific designs for space, they also have the largest Space budget. However politics and public mood often can play a major role, some Presidents come and every 4 years and if there are medicare problems or rising debts then the NASA budget can get axed.

ESA - Europe has no manned missions and they need the Russians or Americans to put their astronauts in space so they haven't truly become a major space power and might never, without a manned launcher they will need to continue hitching a ride from Russia or the USA. However ESA has done some very good missions like the Giotto comet probe, Ulysses ( joint ESA-NASA ), or Smart1 and gets support from the EU Euros, the total space budget is much smaller but it is very rare to see a European mission cancelled like what happens to NASA during debates on the dollar debts or when the US suddenly cancelled something, Europe has many future missions planned.

Canada & Australia - they have done some smaller work, helping other space powers, they have very good designs and good scientists but neither country has much of a major space industry at home.

The USA has the best missions in the past and going to remain the Major Superpower in Space for sometime

Clearly a stable budget is improtant for the space industry, but a growing economy can also help in support for designs in space exploration.
But what country or group will hold second place for the designs, jobs in the space industry and missions in the next 10 years,
who do you think will be in 2nd place for the next upcoming years ?

2005-Mar-11, 12:13 AM
I want to add that ESA indeed has no own manned spacecraft, but I believe it still can be a sapce power without that capability. I would like to see a European manned craft of course, but I think currently ESA is doing fine without. To the successful missions, you might add Huygens and Mars Express, plus the successful commercial Ariane launchers (5 has some expectations still to come up with, 4 was wonderful).

Van Rijn
2005-Mar-11, 12:48 AM
No country - that is, I expect that the real development will be on the commercial side. For the next few years, government programs will continue to go along more or less as they have - very limited improvement in operations but with some impressive robotic missions and various "showboat" manned missions. Once commercial operations dramatically lower the cost to orbit and increase accessability, there will be a renaissance in government space programs, as they use the commercially developed launch capability.

Government programs will continue to do important space related research, but they will not and cannot be the ones to truly open the frontier.

2005-Mar-11, 08:59 PM
Space manufacturing can only be done with large stations. Same with Solar Powersats. Those will need larger launch vehicles to make them come to pass. We have got to get out of this "faster, better, cheaper" mindset and push for greater in-space infrastructure if space is to do more than stagnate with com-sat and EELV providers determining what is and is not "needed."