Space Industry

Industries with economic activities involved in developing and providing space-enabled products and services. It comprises a long value-added chaining, starting with research and development actors and manufacturers of space hardware and ending with the providers of space-enabled products and services to final users.

The three major sectors of the space industry are: satellite manufacturing, support ground equipment manufacturing, and the launch industry. The satellite manufacturing sector is composed of satellite and their subsystems manufacturers. The ground equipment sector is composed of manufacturing items like mobile terminals, gateways, control stations, VSATs (very small aperture terminal), direct broadcast satellite dishes, and other specialized equipment. The launch sector is composed of launch services, vehicle manufacturing and subsystem manufacturing.

Space industries uses technology and techniques to overcome engineering challenges posed by planetary protection and ultra-clean requirements on flight hardware.

Planetary Protection (PP) is the minimisation of biological cross-contamination between Earth and other planets and is imposed for legal (COSPAR) as well as technical reasons. To meet Planetary Protection requirements constraints are imposed on all phases of the mission, from design and manufacture to operations and disposal. In many cases the technologies required to meet Planetary Protection (and cleanliness) requirements must be drawn from outside main stream space technology procurements and may require different approaches to assembly and testing of the spacecraft.

The main areas identified where novel approaches to address Planetary Protection are needed include; the sterilisation of spacecraft and/or components, ‘aseptic assembly’ techniques to maintain sterility during integration and contamination control within clean areas & also during spacecraft venting (both on ascent and descent). Relevant technologies may be spun in from a range of industries where aseptic assembly or ‘ultra-clean’ levels of cleanliness are required. These include the medical, food processing, pharmaceutical and semi-conductor industries.