The science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is at the core of the space industry—from the mathematicians and astronomers who analyze space to the engineers who design and build the launch vehicles that get us there. This workforce is enabled . . .
While space infrastructure’s products and services initially only served the communications and media sectors, they now deliver value across virtually all economic areas, from transportation to healthcare to financial services.
Space products and services continue to evolve in technological sophistication and capability, and their applications continue to change and adapt to the needs of the economy. This section provides an overview of the two main types of space products and services: satellite-related products and services, and in-space activities, which can be broken down into many subcategories (see Exhibit 2b).
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There are ## scientific satellites in orbit around Earth, as designated by the AGI satellite database. This number may vary slightly by source, as some satellites may be alternatively classified as either “scientific” or “remote sensing.”
In 2006, India announced the Indian Regional Navigation System (IRNSS), joining the ranks of countries with plans for indigenous navigation systems. IRNSS is to be a ##-satellite geostationary and geosynchronous system developed over the next six to seven years.
The first launch of Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) is scheduled for 2009. QZSS uses ## geosynchronous satellites in orbital planes designed to have observed elevations of 60 to 70 degrees over Japan. These observed elevations will avoid interference from urban canyons or mountains.
Galileo, Europe’s proposed ##-satellite navigation constellation, reached a key funding agreement in 2007 when the European Council agreed to fund the project entirely though the European Union community budget. The hoped-for significant private-sector participation did not materialize. With these issues resolved the constellation could be operational as early as 2013.
Russia has recently committed to upgrading its Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) to full operational capacity of ## operational satellites by late 2009. The GLONASS system, once set to rival the U.S. GPS system, saw its number of operational satellites fall from ## in 1995 to seven in 2001 due to financial difficulties and the relatively short lifetimes of the individual satellites. In 2007, Russia launched ## GLONASS-M platforms and began operating ## additional satellites that had been launched in late December 2006.
The U.S. Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR GPS or GPS) continues to be the only fully operational navigation constellation and therefore the most popular. GPS consists of ## active satellites in ## medium Earth orbit planes. According to the Department of Defense (DoD), “the fundamental concept of GPS is to use simultaneous distance measurements from ## satellites to compute the position and time of any receiver.” The GPS signal is available at no cost to users around the world and has spawned many commercial applications.