Broadcast 3483 Dr. Tina Highfill

The Space Foundation Conference

27 Mar 2020 Dr. Tina Highfill
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Guest: Dr. Tina Highfill;  Topics:  The BEA Space Economy Satellite Account (SESA): "Measuring the Value of the U.S. Space Economy."

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We welcomed Dr. Tina Highfill of the Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA) of the Dept. of Commerce to the program to discuss her December 2019 Space Economy Satellite Account (SESA) designed to start measuring the value of our space economy.  You can read the Dec. 2019 report, as posted on our blog, at https://apps.bea.gov/scb/2019/12-december/1219-commercial-space.htm.  We started our one segment 70 minute discussion with our guest explaining BEA satellite accounts (nothing to do with a satellite) and the origins of starting a space satellite economic data account to determine the value of our space industry.  Don't miss the first part of the discussion as it was instrumental in understanding BEA economic analysis and methodology, what has been done so far, the reporting time period in question (through 2018), space industry sectors, how economic measurements are made and much more.  If you are like me, much of what you hear will be new as BEA economic analysis differs from what we are used to seeing and using from the private sector investment banking and related world.  In fact, I even asked Dr. Highfill for the difference in what the BEA issues for space value compared to the Morgan-Stanley, Goldman Sachs and other glowing reports on the space industry we have discussed the past few years on TSS and elsewhere. Don't miss how she explained the differences in such reports from the BEA economic analysis of the industry to what the investment houses issue for space industry reports..

We spent much time talking with our guests about the space industry sectors and components that are included in their economic analysis.  NewSpace was brought up as was the satellite industry, plus government and national security sectors.  If you download their report per the above link, which I strongly urge you to do, make sure you pay attention to the definitions in Table 1, what was said in response to a listener question about Table 2, and then be sure to check out their list of references at the end of the paper.  The references show many of the commercial and industry sources talked about over the years on TSS.  Later in the discussion, when Doug Messier called, he inquired about the BEA space technical advisors for their analysis.  Don't miss how Tina responded and what she said about reaching out to industry groups, DOD, NASA, NOAA, commercial space representatives, and others.  Our guest was then asked if she  took feedback from people within the industry or maybe even outside the industry. She said yes and was very open to hearing from people.  The email address to use for contacting her is in the report in the section title "Next Steps for the BEA Space Economy Satellite Account" which is directly under Table 2.  If you do email our guest, please mention you heard about the satellite account and her work on The Space Show.

During our 70 minute program we had several callers and emails from listeners.  For example, Freemont John called to talk about Table 2, space transportation and tourism.  Listener Todd wanted to know if the BEA stats were influenced or manipulated by the administration in office.  The answer was a strong no but listen to what Tina said about BEA objectivity.  As already mentioned, Doug from Parabolic Arc called. I asked him first for a virus update from Mojave, then he talked to Tina about his concerns and questions.  Listener Sharon asked Tina about the difference in a large econometric model as compared to what she was doing with the space satellite account.  Near the end of the discussion, listener Rick sent us email questions which I read on air.  During the earlier part of our discussion, listener Bob in Denver asked if those in congress could understand what BEA was doing as he though what she was describing a bit challenging even for people who know the industry.  Once again, don't miss Tina's reply regarding this question. 

As part of the summary and conclusion to this program, we asked Tina how we can stay up on the BEA reports.  She said there might be email updates available but to check the website later in the summary. Continued funding for the space satellite account was also needed. We talked about her returning for more BEA space economic analysis later in the year and on an ongoing basis as this was not just an interesting discussion but an important one.  We look forward to additional contributions to The Space Show with Dr. Highfill.

You can reach Dr. Highfill through me or the address she provided on air or that is in the report per my above commentary.

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space industry economic report, "Measuring the Value of the U.S. Space Economy

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