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Crowded OrbitsConflict and Cooperation in Space$
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James Clay Moltz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159128

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159128.001.0001

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Commercial Space Developments

Commercial Space Developments

(p.91) 4 Commercial Space Developments
Crowded Orbits

James Clay Moltz

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the developments of the private and commercial sector towards space exploration. In the fifty years since the launch of Telstar I, the first satellite to carry transatlantic television signals, space commerce has grown into a $290 billion yearly industry. Recently, space tourism has been the main focus of international companies such as Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace, and Blue Origin which promise space travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. Space commerce also includes the transmission of information. Companies have thrived by sending valuable information around the globe from point to point in less than a second and gathering data in the form of visual images, heat emissions, and radar signatures that have value for a variety of industrial, agricultural, governmental, and ordinary civilian customers. Google, through Google Earth is a prime example of a company that benefits through the use of Global Positioning System satellites.

Keywords:   commercial sector, space exploration, Telstar I, transatlantic television signals, space commerce, space tourism, information, Google Earth, Global Positioning System

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