Space industry is not just limited to carrying out ambitious solar or stellar missions, it also plays a vital role across other industries such as telecommunication, defence, broadcasting, etc. Depending upon the overall value chain, space industry can be broadly divided into two segments: Upstream and downstream. The upstream segment includes space hardware manufacturers and companies or government bodies facilitating launch of various systems into the space. Generally, the upstream segment includes spacecraft launch vehicles, ground control stations and payloads such as satellites, unmanned spacecraft, manned spacecraft and space stations. Whereas the downstream segment is majorly related to offering of products and services by tapping space technologies such as satellite broadcasting, telecommunication, earth observation, satellite navigation, geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging, etc.
Previously, the space exploration industry was only concentrated to the government space agencies like NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), and Roscosmos. However, due to reduction in governmental space budgets these agencies have started offshoring some of their activities to well- funded private space exploration companies like SpaceX, Arianespace, etc. Considering commercialisation of space exploration, regulations governing the space have come under scanner and demands amendments.
Cost reduction and development of systems with higher endurance are the major challenges faced by space industry. Some of the major technological developments in space industry include: development of composite materials having higher thermo-mechanical properties; growing trend for cost effective nanosatellite and microsatellite segments; and development of reusable launch vehicle (RLV) which is expected to substantially reduce the launch cost.
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