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.
China has announced plans to develop the Long March 5 heavy rocket.
Funding for the largest in-space platform, the International Space Station (ISS), is included under the government budgets of ISS partners. NASA, the largest contributor to the ISS, budgeted $## billion for the ISS in 2007, but actual expenditures were not available due to delays in the congressional budget process.[
China’s space budget estimates generate much speculation. Obstacles to clarity include secrecy, the complexity of the Chinese budget system, purchasing power parity, and the overlap in civil and military spending. Estimates range from $## billion to $# billion. For the purposes of this report, we are continuing to use a conservative estimate of $## billion for Chinese space spending published by the World Security Institute, a non-profit global-affairs research and journalism organization.
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
In 2007, a number of robotic probes and planetary landers were launched as several nations developed their space exploration programs. Among these launches were the first lunar orbiters from Japan and China.
The Space Report 2006 noted the increasing trend of retail stores delivering advertising content through digital signage. Recent market research has shown that digital signage, or narrowcasting, is becoming increasingly popular and is on a path to sustainable growth.
China stirred controversy when it tested an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon on January 11, 2007. Using a ground-launched missile, the Chinese military destroyed an old Chinese weather satellite. The test followed two unsuccessful attempts.
ESA satellites have been used to monitor air pollution levels in a number of studies, including the measurement of gaseous pollutants in India, and nitrogen dioxide emissions during a traffic restriction event in Beijing, China.
Police use GPS technology in a number of novel applications. Embedded GPS chips are replacing exploding dye packs as a more efficient way to foil bank robbers in some U.S. cities. The practice allows officials to track stolen money with unprecedented precision.