Word came down to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in 2019: We’d like you to measure the American space economy, please.

The task fell into the capable hands of Tina Highfill, a 17-year veteran of the statistical agency. Her role as a research economist includes developing new measures of economic activity that don’t fall into neat buckets already, like travel and tourism or healthcare. These are called “satellite accounts,” and now they need one for satellites.

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