Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Biggest Space Customers

by Louis A. Arana-Barradas

The head of Air Force Space Command said people might be surprised to learn that corporate America is the biggest user of Air Force space products. Gen. Lance W. Lord said the main reason for this is the reliability of space-based assets and because the technologies -- which are giving coalition forces an edge on the global war on terrorism -- can be adapted for use in a variety of civilian applications.

The relationship is lucrative for the civilian sector. The global economic impact of space is an estimated $209 billion, the general said.
Its use in space transportation, satellite communications, global positioning systems, or GPS, and remote sensing contributed $91 billion to the global economy in 2003 and involved half a million jobs in the United States alone.
Plus, command space acquisitions and operations contribute $11 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

"Removing space capabilities from our way of life would not only cripple our combat forces, but it would have catastrophic consequences on our entire economy," General Lord said.

To help maintain a viable space system, General Lord commands the nearly 40,000 space professionals. They run a global network of satellite command and control, communications, missile warning and launch facilities and maintain the combat readiness of the nation's intercontinental ballistic missile force.

The use of space technologies will only continue to increase in the future. There will also be an increased need to continue coming up with technological advances, the general said. This will help cut the price of doing business in all sectors.

Just another addiction.

Civilian Sector Biggest Space Customer


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