LEO spacecraft are also used to provide images of the Earth for civil, scientific, and military applications. In 2008 the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing reported that there were ## satellites in use or in development for this purpose, operated by ## different countries. The U.S. has been the leader in the commercialization of electro-optical remote sensing technology, but recent years have seen other countries begin to excel in the development of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems.
Note: This exhibit is from The Space Report 2009. Please refer to this year’s exhibits for the most current data as numbers may have been revised since this edition was published.
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 personal spaceflight market continues to promise a bright future as commercial flights get under way as early as 2010 and demand and sales begin to increase. RocketShip Tours announced that rides aboard the Lynx, a suborbital vehicle being constructed by XCOR Aerospace, would cost $95,000 apiece. XCOR has already booked reservations for about 22 flights, each reservation secured by a deposit of $20,000. Space Adventures accumulated $30 million in revenue during 2008 due to entrepreneur Richard Garriott’s trip to the ISS. Garriott is the son of former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott; they are the first American father and son to have left the Earth’s atmosphere. In 2009, Charles Simonyi, CEO and President of Intentional Software, is to be Space Adventures’ first repeat space explorer. He traveled to the ISS in 2007 and was scheduled for a second visit in March 2009. In addition, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, has secured a future Space Adventures flight with a $5 million down payment.
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.
Space products and services and their related space technology spinoffs have become part of the fabric of daily life in ways that people increasingly take for granted, and often in ways that do not even bring space to mind. The products and services that depend upon space platforms drive innovation and discovery while providing economic and environmental benefits in such spheres as communications, Earth observation, global positioning, and navigation.
Although new hiring statistics are not uniformly available for other major civil space programs or international companies, steady growth in the global space industry over the past five years suggests that demand for skilled S&E workers with space-relevant skills exists around the world.