NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), the United States’ primary civil spaceport, marked its 50th anniversary in July 2012. The milestone coincides with the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet and related changes in the U.S. human spaceflight program, causing uncertainty in the future utiliza… This article is for subscribers. Please sign up for a subscription…
Throughout the world, space policies, strategies, and plans are formalized in documents through which governments communicate the priorities and strategic objectives of their space programs. Space policies describe the overarching approach that guides a country’s space program within the contex… This article is for subscribers. Please sign up for a subscription or login below.
To improve the resolution from ground-based observatories and to capture light from distant, dim objects, telescopes are growing larger. Due to the correspondingly large cost of construction and operation, these massive telescopes are often supported financially by multinational consortia.
Large satellite dishes on rooftops may soon be a thing of the past due to technology that enables lower-cost “virtual” dishes. This new technology enables affordable antennas that conform to the shape of an object, allowing for delivery of satellite television without the need for a bulky dish.
A new online video game, created by Dutch-German startup company iOpener Media, uses high-accuracy satellite tracking that allows players to race cars in real time against other users during real-world racing events, breaking new ground for car racing fans and gamers alike. iOpener Media announced in 2010 that it received substantial funding in support of its next-generation online gaming programs.
Development continued in 2010 on new commercially operated transportation services that can carry cargo, passengers, and possibly professional astronauts into space. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences made significant progress in development of cargo transportation systems that will be used to resupply the ISS. NASA provided funding to advance development of commercial crew transportation concepts. Although no commercial human spaceflight occurred in 2010, companies developing vehicles to carry people into space attracted investment while testing vehicles and passing milestones in infrastructure development.
Bigelow Aerospace has been working for several years to develop commercial orbital habitats using expandable modules. This approach, leveraging technology licensed from NASA, involves launching modules in a compact form and inflating them once in orbit, creating much larger volumes than would be possible with traditional metallic structures.
Mining operations are often conducted in remote locations, making it difficult for corporations to monitor activity from a central facility. Mining equipment can break down unexpectedly, causing downtime that cuts into revenue.
The largest in-space platform ever constructed is the International Space Station (ISS). “Led by the United States, the ISS draws upon the scientific and technological resources of 16 nations: Canada, Japan, Russia, 11 nations of the European Space Agency [Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom], and Brazil,” according to NASA.
ABI Research estimates global market revenues for satellite-based positioning technologies for all applications at $## billion for 2005, see Exhibit 4o, The Industrial Technology Research Institute estimated 2003 GPS production value at $## billion and growing. Trends in GPS growth were reported in Business Week, along with a discussion of the entrance of “mainstream” electronics firms into the GPS marketplace: