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Commercialisation of Space - A lucrative domain

By Suman Chowdhury

he space sector includes all public and private actors primarily involved in the provision of space-enabled products and services. These sectors work effectively in a value-adding chain beginning from the manufacturers of space hardware (e.g. launch vehicles, satellites, earth stations) to the providers of space-enabled products (e.g. GPS-based car navigation systems), and services (e.g. satellite-based services or direct to home video services) to final users.

Space commercialisation refers to efforts on the part of governments and companies to use the space environment to (i) make better and less expensive products for sale on Earth, as well as for use in space; and (ii) perform space related services, such as satellite construction and launching.

Space was initially explored by United States and the former Soviet Union. However, after the 1980s and the end of cold war era saw the active involvement of European Space Agency (ESA) and the developing countries namely, India, China, Brazil, Israel and Pakistan.

Over the years, the range of civilian space applications has increased significantly. The main commercial space applications that dominate the space business at present are communication broadcasting, remote sensing and satellite navigation.

There has also been a pronounced increase in the space commercialisation, as multi-national companies have expanded their business activities in transportation and launching services, communication satellites, and remote sensing.

Today’s commercial space industry is a more profitable business venture. From 1965, when the Early Bird satellite (also known as Intelsat I, a commercial communications satellite) was successfully launched, till now, the commercial space industry have grown and profited to an impressive degree.

The present structure in the global commercial space market is indeed a promising scenario. The overall revenue from commercial space activities in 2005 was estimated to be USD 110 billions, of which USD 80 billion has been taken by satellite services industry. In 2009 and 2010, amidst a widespread international economic crisis the space industry proved resilient and demonstrated growth and expansion.


Space  Commerce  

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