chapter  3
13 Pages

Space and the economy

ByBRUCE LINSTER

Although spaceflight has been predominantly a government activity since its earliest days, the commercial sector has become an increasingly important part of the space industry, beginning in the early 1980s and continuing to the present. The commercial sector of the space industry, as it currently exists, consists primarily of firms that supply telecommunication and remote sensing services via satellites. It would be difficult to overstate how important commercial space activity is to the US position as the world’s premier military and economic power. American consumers rely heavily on the communications and remote sensing services that the commercial space sector makes possible. These same products and services are important to US civil and military space capabilities.