How is the money which is spent on space flight, in terms of launch costs, distributed between different purposes? I suppose that it would be unwieldy to consider the money spent on the development and construction of the equipment launched. If so, let's focus on launch costs alone.

Below I suggest a partitioning, but any categorization for which statistics exist would be very interesting. Global or US only are both of interest, depending on availability of data.


Civilian (the ISS, communication, navigation, weather)

Astronomy (space telescopes, interplanetary probes, student's cubesats)

Consumer (tourism, funerals, time capsules)

Launch development (testing launch vehicles, launch escape systems et c)

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    $\begingroup$ Somewhat related: What fraction of launches are classified? Check the infographic posted there. Though that's merely by number of launches, not money spent on them, it gives an overview of fractions of military, government, commercial and amateur launches over time. Also re your question, there's no way to even estimate global spending on each of your categories. Think e.g. about how much info is published on Chinese, even Russian launches. They don't operate under freedom of information acts. Russia not at all and China only partially since 2008. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Feb 13, 2015 at 12:25


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