Commercial Infrastructure and Support Industries
Infrastructure support industries include services such as space insurance and space-related research and development. The global space insurance industry saw continued profitability in 2014, although not to the same extent as in recent years. Space insurance premiums at the end of 2014 were estimated to total $## million, against which $## million in claims were filed. The countries with the greatest number of launches were also the ones who faced a few costly accidents. The Antares launch failure and destruction of its Cygnus capsule was said to cost only about $## million in insurance losses.
Since 2011, NASA has relied on contracts with the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, to send American astronauts to the ISS. The price for each seat on a Russian capsule rose to $## million in 2014, up $# million from 2013. NASA had earlier decided that the milestone-driven Commercial Crew Program, based in part on the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program, would help speed the goal of advancing development of a commercially operated crew transportation system capable of ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS. In November 2013, NASA issued the final Request for Proposals for Phase 2 of the Commercial Crew Program, called the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract.
Ground stations and equipment are terrestrial infrastructure used by people on Earth to command and control satellites and satellite payloads; send, receive, and distribute satellite data and communications; and monitor satellite health. Ground stations and equipment make up the biggest part of the commercial infrastructure and support industries sector, with ##% of the market in 2014.
The ISS partner nations have agreed to support regular resupply and personnel transport missions through 2020, while the United States plans to extend use of the ISS until at least 2024. For fiscal year (FY) 2014, NASA spent $## billion on ISS operations, $## million more than FY 2013 actual spending of $## billion. Construction of the $## billion ISS occurred over 14 years, relying on more than ## rocket and shuttle launches to complete. Extension beyond its planned retirement in 2020 is expected to expand the amount of research that can be performed.
Aboard the ## rockets that attempted a launch in 2014, there were ## spacecraft. Contributing to this very high number, ## of the spacecraft were nanosatellites weighing less than 10 kilograms (22 pounds), a type of satellite whose numbers have skyrocketed in very recent years. The increase of such light spacecraft activity is mostly related to the growing popularity of cubesats, a subcategory of nanosatellites based on a minimalist and open-source design proposed in 1999 by California Polytechnic State University and Stanford University.
Attempted orbital launches increased from ## in 2013 to ## for 2014. Of these ## launches, ## successfully placed their primary payloads into orbit. There were ## launch attempts for commercial payloads and the other ## were for government payloads. Eurospace, the European space industry association, estimates that the global market value for orbital launches in 2014 was $## billion, ##% higher than the 2013 value of $## billion.
The market continues to grow as revenue rose 17.7% in 2014 for the commercial space infrastructure and support industries from $108.48 billion in 2013 to $127.65 billion. Nearly 94% of that revenue is from the sales, construction, and maintenance of ground stations and equipment. Government spending on space infrastructure is not included in this section, but is described in Government Space Budgets.
Infrastructure support industries include services such as space insurance and space-related research and development funded by private organizations. The global space insurance industry saw continued profitability in 2013. Aon ISB, a risk management and insurance brokerage firm, estimated that space insurance premiums at the end of 2013 totaled approximately $## million compared to approximately $## million paid out in claims during the same period, including an estimate of $## million for an expected claim on Koreasat-5.
The retirement of the Space Shuttle created an impetus for the development of commercial cargo and crew transportation services. Several corporations are taking advantage of this space transportation capacity vacuum to speed development of new spacecraft and rockets. The milestone-driven Commercial Crew Program, based in part on COTS, was put in place in 2010 with the goal of advancing development of a commercially operated crew transportation system capable of ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS. NASA has awarded more than $## billion toward the development of commercially operated manned space vehicles through a series of phases identified in the NASA Commercial Crew Funding exhibit. In November 2013, NASA issued the final Request for Proposals for Phase 2 of the Commercial Crew Program, called the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCTCap) contract. The aim of the new funding is to ensure that commercial operators meet NASA’s safety requirements and will include at least one crewed demonstration mission to the space station before 2017. CCTCap Phase 2 awards are scheduled to be announced in mid-2014.