60 years ago, the launch of a metal sphere the size of a beach ball into orbit did nothing less than usher in the space age, and with it, new political, military, technological and scientific developments.
It didn’t take long thereafter for the first commercial Telecom and Earth Observation satellites to be in orbit. The way the US-launched Telstar satellite connected the US and Europe for the first time in 1962 was a revolution.
Today we have a global satellite industry and space is not only a commercial and institutional topic but also a strategic element in many nations’ sovereignty.
Satellite applications are so diverse and have become such a seamless part of our daily lives that much of the world is unaware that they are benefiting from them. Telecoms is a good place to start. Just like the aircraft industry has made the world smaller, global TV, telephone, mobile internet connectivity or data connections have brought people and nations closer together. There are very few “white spots” on Earth without a connection and now we’re building OneWeb that will bring a new era of connectivity.
Then there are Navigation and Science satellites to consider. Mankind is drawing enormous benefits from this sector – Special weather satellites, secure communication, polar ice monitoring, EU Space Programmes like Galileo and Copernicus, which Airbus is proud to contribute to, and many, many more science missions including those leaving our Earth’s Orbit!
Last but not least, let’s not forget the launcher and Ground Segment businesses. Without reliable launchers, like Ariane, and the technology in ground stations we would not have an independent access to space or ability to control these valuable assets.
In today’s ever more connected world, where satellites have become a highly desired commodity, Space has a great future. And with the arrival of new connected platforms, worldwide customer broadband and real time data collection, End-to-End space solutions, multi-layer constellations, Very High Throughput Satellites and flexible, digital payloads are all seen as enablers for growth.
Since the beginning of the space age this industry attracted talented men and women with a vison – to improve life on Earth and better understand our universe with space technologies. Airbus´ success has always been based on investment in great technology, innovation and above all, the passion, expertise and creativity of its employees.
Airbus is today the leading European space company with satellites, human space flight, space related services and the world’s most successful commercial launcher through ArianeGroup Joint Venture. Airbus is in an excellent position to drive the market, through investment in its cross divisional strategic business cases, its R&T portfolio and with many great opportunities ahead to contribute to the future of space industry.