Space Products & Innovation
While space has many practical applications that are already making real differences in people’s daily lives, many more research activities are still in the early stages of development. Depending on their maturity and complexity, the practical uses of these research avenues are not always well understood or guaranteed.
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.
On October 26, 2010, the last of 33 trapped Chilean miners was lifted to the surface. The rescue ended an unprecedented 69 days of underground survival following a tunnel collapse in a 100-year-old mine. The story of the trapped miners and the international effort to save them captivated the world. Space products, services, and knowledge played an important role in the successful rescue efforts.
Use of satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing services such as GPS continues to grow worldwide. GPS is operated by the United States as a global utility in which U.S. taxpayers fund development and operations. Although GPS was developed and is maintained by the military, it is now offered free of charge to users around the globe.
Space-based capabilities are being fused to create useful capabilities. One new capability is described by the term “geoinformatics,” which involves the convergence of PNT, remote sensing, and position information of known objects to enable dynamic location-based content.
The primary industries using space-based products and services involve Earth-orbiting satellites used for communication; remote sensing and Earth observation; and position, navigation, and timing. An emerging sector of inspace products and services now includes personal spaceflight and private space research. Companies in this sector also support defense and civil government in-space programs.
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.
Satellite-related products and services form the largest portion of the space industry, driven primarily by the use of communication and positioning satellites.
Commercial communications satellites provide both fixed and mobile satellite services. Fixed satellite services (FSS) are those where the ground receiver is stationary, pointed at one spot in the sky. Mobile satellite services (MSS) uplink and downlink to mobile users