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Space products and services are an integral part of many activities and sectors throughout the global economy. Exhibit 1b shows seven major categories in which space products and services make a strong contribution. Within these categories, space products and services include items that rely on space assets to work.
Telecommunications technology has made the world a much more intimate place. This is in no small part due to satellites circling the globe providing communications, scientific research, broadcasting, navigation, imagery, and support for national defense efforts. The first satellite, Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 and served to demonstrate that man-made objects can reach and maintain a simple orbit. This small craft with limited instrumentation did little more than measure the density of the upper atmosphere and provide information on how radio waves propagate through the ionosphere.
India had a successful year in 2011, launching ## rockets without any of the failures that plagued its 2010 launch season. All ## launches used the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). While the rocket’s nomenclature hints at its original purpose to place satellites into polar orbit, over time it has launched medium-weight satellites into a variety of orbits.
The hundreds of thousands of talented individuals working in the global space industry are critical to its overall success and future growth. The trends in space employment and education provide an indicator of the health of the industry, showing growth or decline not only in the current workforce, but also in the likely pool of future qualified individuals.
Funding is a serious concern for government-supported remote sensing satellite endeavors. Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program is facing difficulties because of the global economic climate, which is forcing many space programs around the world to cut costs. In November 2011, the European Commission (EC) proposed moving funding for operating the GMES space segment from the 27-member commission to the individual EU member states.
Overall government investment in space remains strong and growing, although the effect of smaller budgets is being seen in some places, including the United States, where 2011 government space spending was below the 2010 level. While the United States remains responsible for ##% of global government space spending, other governments appropriate significant amounts. Some, such as Brazil, Israel, and Russia, are on the cusp or in the midst of major increases in government space appropriations. Government space programs accounted for approximately $## billion in spending during 2011, which represents ##% of the total global space economy.