Commercial Infrastructure and Support Industries
The ground stations and equipment category is the largest part of the commercial infrastructure and support industries sector. Totaling $110.52 billion, it made up 92% of this sector in 2015.
For fiscal year (FY) 2015, NASA spent $1.52 billion on ISS systems operations and research, a decrease of $42.0 million from the $1.57 billion spent in FY 2014. ISS Crew and Cargo Transportation increased by $51.7 million from $1.40 billion in FY 2014 to $1.45 billion in FY 2015.
Aboard the 86 rockets that attempted a launch in 2015, there were 262 spacecraft, down 11% from 296 in 2014. Of the spacecraft intended for orbit in 2015, 126 were nanosatellites weighing less than 10 kilograms (22 pounds), a type of satellite whose numbers have increased in recent years.
Attempted orbital launches decreased from 92 in 2014 to 86 in 2015. Of these 86 launches, 83 successfully reached orbit. There were 22 launch attempts for commercial payloads and the other 64 were for government payloads. Eurospace, the European space industry association, estimates that the global market value for orbital launches in 2015 was $8.01 billion, essentially the same as the 2014 value of $8.10 billion.
In 2015, commercial infrastructure and support industries accounted for $120.09 billion, 5.2% less than in 2014. The decrease was almost entirely due to the growing strength of the U.S. dollar.
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.