The human activity in outer-space in now visible than ever with technologies like global communications, climate studies and air traffic control. The Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is also now being made widely available for vehicles and smartphones. The “You are here” arrows on online maps are a result of satellite location and navigation services that have become part of everyday life now. Along with this, we are now able to track the changes and patterns in weather, agriculture and even forest fires. With Google Earth, many of us go to the extent of observing our homes from the point of view of an orbiting satellite!
Almost 50 countries consider space exploration as one of their key missions and it is estimated that the downstream market for space-based products are worth about 114-125 Billion Euros. The Earth observation (EO) sector - watching everything from rainforest loss to floods - is currently worth some 750 million Euros.