News & Media

Global Space Workforce Continues to Grow and Evolve

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

TSR Q3 ReportContinuing over a decade of reporting, the newly released 2022 Q3 edition of The Space Report examines critical global space workforce data and takes a deep look at space workforce issues. The overall picture is of a space workforce continuously growing and adapting to meet challenges.

Global Space Employment Trends

Europe and the U.S. led space hiring in 2021, while Asian space companies held the line or experienced slight employment declines. U.S. space employment grew 2.6% in 2021.

Space Force’s Recruiting Success

Unlike many recruiters, Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas of the U.S. Space Force has no difficulty finding qualified candidates for the roles he needs to fill. The newest U.S. military branch is the most difficult for recruits to enter, with more than 18,000 applicants competing for 511 enlisted jobs. This breaks down to only three of every 100 applicants donning the Guardians uniform.

The new Guardians include the largest percentage of women to enter any armed service in U.S. history.

Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor sees a broader trend within these numbers. “Space Force recruiting shows these space jobs have a growing allure for young people,” he said. “This points to a bright future across the space industry as its accomplishments inspire a new generation.”

New Spacesuits for the New Generation of Astronauts

space suitsFor the first time in its history, NASA has selected an outside contractor, Axiom Space, to provide space suits. Among the improvements expected in this contract: space suits designed to fit 99% of the world’s adults.

Newly developed Axiom-owned spacesuits promise a better fit for more diverse body shapes and advancements in mobility and life support. Once approved for spaceflight, the spacesuits will be available for lease to NASA and commercial companies.

Recent Headwinds Could Temporarily Tighten Space Hiring

New U.S. space programs are temporarily on hold until Congress approves a 2023 federal budget. A stopgap measure approved in September keeps agencies operating at 2022 levels but blocks expenditures for new programs. 

The delay has stalled $6 billion in budget increases for NASA and the Pentagon (including the U.S. Space Force). New programs at risk at NASA include robotic exploration of the Moon. At stake for the Space Force are an additional $900 million for new satellites and ground equipment and $50 million for new research programs.

Get the full story in The Space Report.

The 2022 Q3 edition of The Space Report provides analysis of hiring in key nations around the world. Other featured stories include:

  • Accelerated Healing: Recent experiments combining 3D printing with biological materials could revolutionize the way astronauts deal with common injuries and assist with healing for people at remote sites here on Earth. A recent test on the International Space Station used a polymer gel containing an astronaut’s skin cells to create bio bandages.
  • New Faces in the Space Workforce: Unique space stories take you behind the numbers to explore the varied and even unlikely paths new workers take into the space industry. These journeys highlight the variety of talent required across the global space ecosystem.

Get your copy of The Space Report here.