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How much money is spent on space exploration?

What countries are involved in space exploration. And how much money of the United States Budget, and the top 5 other countries' budgets are being used for space exploration.

Space agencies involved in human space flight are located in the US (NASA), Russia, The European Union (ESA), China, Canada, Japan and India. The US, Russia and China are the only countries to have independently put people in space. India and Japan state that they have the intention of doing this in the coming decades. European and Canadian astronauts fly with NASA, and the Russian Space Agency and are involved in the International Space Station.

You can see the NASA budget over the last 40 or so years here. In 2005 NASA had a budget of $16.2 billion, this includes not only the human spaceflight division, but also other engineering projects, and science funded by NASA. The total federal spending budget in 2005 was on the order of $2 trillion ($2000 billion), making the NASA share 0.8% of the budget. By comparison roughly 19% of the budget was spent on the Military, 21% on Social Security and 8% went to paying interest on the national debt.

The ESA budget for 2005 was 2.98 billion euros (about 3.5 billion dollars), but many European countries also have their own space agencies which are independently funded, so it's not strictly a fair comparison.

ESA and NASA are by far the highest funded agencies. The Russian space agency has an annual budget of $800-900 million dollars (and it's about the same for India), Japan ~1.8 billion, China ~1.2 billion.

To be fair though, we need to compare these numbers to something which tells you about the wealth of the nation - for example the Gross Domestic Product. The CIA world factbook is a great resource for information like that.

GDP in 2004Percent spent on space
USA 11.8 trillion 0.14%
Europe 11.7 trillion 0.03% (not inc. individual agencies)
Japan 3.7 trillion 0.05%
China 7.3 trillion 0.02%
Russia 1.4 trillion 0.06%
India 3.3 trillion 0.03%

It's also interesting to work out how much is spent per person:

PopnSpace spending per person in 2005
USA 0.3 billion $54
Europe 0.6 billion $5.80 (not inc. indiv agencies)
Japan 0.1 billion $18
China 1.3 billion 92c
Russia 0.1 billion $9
India 1.1 billion 82c

Considering the total budget for the world for space (~25 billion dollars), the total amount spent per person is $3.90 (working on 6.4 billion people), and the pecentage of the GDP of the world which is spent on space is roughly 0.05%.

November 2005, Karen Masters (more by Karen Masters) (Like this Answer)

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