THE FINAL FRONTIER

Here are the world’s top space universities

How would you rank the world’s best space-technology universities? You could do worse than looking at the scientific papers produced on satellite technology. The wealthy-nation think tank known as the OECD did just that in a recent paper on the economic implications of space exploration.

OECD analysts looked at “scientific production”—essentially published papers—with ties to satellite technology between 2003 and 2013. Unsurprisingly, large chunks of that scientific production—more than 28%—was done in the US, which is home to such space science powerhouses as NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Goddard Space Flight Center and Cal Tech/NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories. (While not strictly confined to actual universities, the OECD tally does include actually schools such as the University of Maryland, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Harvard and MIT.)

But the OECD’s report noted that “a number of countries have seen their respective shares grow over the ten-year period, particularly Brazil, China, and India.” In fact, between 2008 and 2013, the Chinese Academy of Sciences leapt into third place, by the OECD’s tally.

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