Today represents a new era for the space industry and a big part of it, the commercial satellite industry, is at an inflexion point. This is partly because of the massive growth in the number of satellites in Earth orbit which now totals over 2,100. From 2014-2018, over 850 satellites were launched and this represents a whopping increase of 243% over the previous five years.
Also, thanks to massive leaps in technological innovation and production, today’s satellites can do more than ever before and the cost to manufacture and launch these orbiting machines has also dropped dramatically. Today satellites of all shapes and sizes provide us with a wide variety of vital and everyday services.
Each and every day billions* of worldwide government and enterprise customers use the extraordinary services offered by satellites, including millions of American consumers, and most of them don’t even know it. If you used your cellular phone, paid for gas at the pump, watched an international or a national sporting event on TV, surfed the internet on a plane, located a store or restaurant on a smart phone or tablet or used your car’s navigation system, you have been using satellites.
*According to statista.com, the number of mobile phone users worldwide is expected to surpass 5 billion by sometime during 2019. Mobile phone networks operate using critical timing data provided by GPS satellites.
Satellites are used to receive and transmit a wide range of data and information. Because they operate in space, satellites have the advantage of communicating and collecting data from virtually anywhere – without being hindered by terrestrial coverage limitations. Thus they can “see” large sections of the Earth’s surface, collect data more quickly than instruments on the ground and provide services with an unmatched level of ubiquity. Here are just a few examples of the types of services provided by satellites:
The Impact of Satellites Around the World – Interactive Map
As you can see above, satellites provide important and critical services to Americans at home and abroad, but they also have a massive impact on the daily lives of billions of people all around the world. Courtesy of the Global Satellite Coalition or GSC, please click on the link below to view an interactive map of the globe that shows just a few examples of how satellites benefit the world’s population each and every day.