The first man-made satellite was Sputnik I, launched and operated by Russia in the low Earth orbit in 1957. In the decade that followed, the American space exploration programs launched many Earth orbiting satellites. The first commercial geosynchronous satellite, Intelsat-1, was placed in orbit in 1965, and, in 1969, NASA’s Apollo-11 became the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon. Since then, many countries have successfully undertaken small and large space programs. In 2003, a civilian became the first space tourist and China became the third nation after Russia and the United States to put a human in space. In 2004, U.S. President Bush announced a new space initiative for manned landing on the moon by 2015, and then onward to Mars. In the same year, both China and India announced their own plans to send unmanned spacecraft to the moon by 2010. On the commercial side, the recent worldwide communications technology boom has established the satellite as an integral part of the national infrastructure. Today, many countries have the capability of placing and operating satellites in orbit.
In the past, the U.S. government has provided a large share of the space industry revenue, and telecommunications satellites dominated the nongovernment market. The 1990s saw milestones in the development of personal communications systems, expansion of the remote sensing industry and the approval of sale of spy-quality data. The 2000 world market for commercial communications satellites was 28 satellites at a procurement cost of 12 billion dollars, about 50% of which went to U.S. companies. Added to this was the insurance cost for launch and 1-year onorbit operation ranging from 7 to 15% of the launch vehicle and satellite costs. According to Aerospace America, the total number of launches in 2003 was 90, and is projected to be 150 in 2012. These endeavors symbolize the increasing expansion of a commercial market. Many changes occurring in the industry continue the evolution of this dynamic sector of the technology. New commercial ventures are rapidly expanding. It is on these ventures that the future expansion of the space industry rests.