How is it that we are able to enjoy live national or worldwide television and radio broadcasts? Make international telephone calls? Use high-speed Internet and nationwide paging services? Receive weather forecasts? Manage natural resource use? Respond to emergencies and disasters? Pay by credit card at a retail store? Satellite technology is the short answer. But how do those satellites make it into space? This is just one of the many functions of commercial space transportation.
Advances in reusable rockets, lowered per-launch costs and miniaturization of satellites are opening up business opportunities well beyond aerospace and defense, and into IT hardware and telecom. Currently the global space industry is approximately $400 billion, about 80% is commercial activity and the United States claims a little less than half of that commercial activity. The global space industry is expected to generate revenue of $1.1 trillion or more in 2040 according to a recent report by according to Morgan Stanley.
Commercial Space Transportation is working to meet the needs now and into the future by working with those involved in every facet of the commercial space industry including the next generation of rocket engineers and scientists. FAA's STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) program.
Developing consensus safety standards are key to a robust and safe commercial space transportation industry. Safety is enhanced through increased interactions and data sharing during industry and government collaboration on specifications and standards. This joint collaboration creates a shared vision of future space safety that benefits the industry, the public, and U.S. interests.
ASTM International (ASTM) is the largest international standards organization with 30,000 members. The F47 Committee was formed in 2016 and now has five technical subcommittee addressing standards in design, manufacturing, and operational use of vehicles for spaceflight and they are also developing human spaceflight standards. AST works with ASTM by providing subject matter experts to the subcommittees and their working groups.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is another influential international standards development organization composed of representatives from the national standards organizations of 167 member countries that AST supports. Through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), AST provides its input through the appropriate U.S. Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). U.S. TAGs are comprised of relevant experts from a broad range of U.S. stakeholder categories who work together to develop U.S. consensus positions on activities and ballots of a specified ISO committee.
Below is the latest Commercial Space Transportation Compendium where you will find information about orbital launch vehicles, suborbital reusable vehicles (SRVs), and on-orbit vehicles and platforms that launched; commercial and Government launch sites; other commercial ventures, including companies investing in opportunities beyond Earth orbit; regulations related to commercial space transportation; and launch data and analysis, including a review of all orbital launches.
At the FAA we are always looking for new ways that our user community can access the data we collect. In the coming weeks, the FAA will be posting data files from the compendium for public use. Stay tuned as we continue to innovate and meet the growing demand for information about this exciting industry!
New Industry/Market Publications
- Introduction to U.S. Export Controls for the Commercial Space Industry (PDF)
- The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation 2017 (PDF)
- The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2016 (PDF)
- The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2014 (PDF)
- The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2013 (PDF)
- The 2012 Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation (PDF)
- The 2015 Commercial Space Transportation Forecasts (PDF)
- The 2013 Commercial Space Transportation Forecasts (PDF)
- Commercial Space Transportation: 2011 Year in Review, January 2012 (PDF)
- Year in Review Fact Sheet, CY 2011, January 2012 (PDF)