Operators of communication satellites lease satellite capacity to satellite broadcasting companies, making the provision of these services possible. For example, DISH Network accounted for nearly a third of Hughes Network’s total revenue in 2015. Satellite communications also include two-way data, voice, and video connections. Revenues for the satellite communications segment in 2015 were…
In 2015, the ISS was the only inhabited space station orbiting the Earth. By July 2015, an international cadre of 220 men and women had temporarily lived aboard the ISS as builders, scientists, and explorers since people first entered the station in November 2000. The crew aboard the ISS continued conducting research in a microgravity environment, as well as observing the impacts of long-term habitation in space on the human body during 2015.
Global, dedicated, and secure communications networks are vital to governments, militaries, and agencies around the world. Increased demand for capacity—particularly secure connectivity using non-commercial frequency bands—continued to drive deployment of dedicated military communications satellite systems. The U.S. military bought significant capacity from commercial operators such as Intelsat and SES in 2014. However, the way the military buys the bandwidth has been criticized by commercial satellite communications services as expensive and outdated.
Every year, the Space Foundation recognizes space technologies applied to products and services in interesting and useful ways. Many products and services are nominated, but only two are inducted into the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame annually.
Launched in February 2013 and fully operational as of January 2014, the Canadian Department of National Defence’s (DND’s) Sapphire satellite was designed to provide data about space objects orbiting the Earth. Sapphire is in a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit of ## kilometers (## miles). Sapphire’s orbit around the Earth aligns with the Sun in such a way to allow its telescope to see the brightest reflections possible of other objects in space.
Most countries do not publicly release regular reports on the size of their space workforce, making analysis of trends over time difficult or impossible. However, point assessments of the size or activities within these space nations still provide useful insight into the health of the global space workforce.
Canada’s FY 2014 budget, which began on April 1, 2014 and ended on March 31, 2015 included funding for civil space activities that totaled C$## million (US$## million). The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is the only civil organization with a space budget line, so this total reflects its funding, which represents an ##% increase compared to FY 2013 funding of C$## million (US$## million). Other civil agencies that conduct space-related activities include the Department of Foreign Affairs, which provides Canada’s input to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space; Transport Canada, which regulates spaceports and commercial space; and various stakeholders such as Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, and Agriculture Canada.
On a global level, government investment in space increased #% to $## billion. Because not all governments operate under the same fiscal cycle, space spending numbers were derived from the most recent budgetary information available for each country. As in previous years, the growth was not uniform, with some countries reducing the funding available for space activity, as shown below. The figures reported in the following country profiles are presented in both the local currency and U.S. dollars as of June 30 of the appropriate year.