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Research and Analysis

1.0 Space Products and Services

The first section of The Space Report 2013 provides concrete examples of products and services that use space assets directly as well as “spinoff” products that were created using technology originally developed for space. It helps to make clear how space permeates life on Earth, and to show the scope of applications, products and services that are related to space. Each year, The Space Report identifies products and services in seven categories: travel, lifestyle and entertainment; energy, resources and environmental management; governance, education and infrastructure; retail, finance and corporate services; transportation, logistics and manufacturing; homeland security, defense and intelligence; and science, biotechnology and healthcare. The Space Report 2013 also includes sections on products and services about space and emerging technologies in early stages of development.

Examples in these categories include products such as MOD Live — GPS-enabled goggles that skiers can use to display speed, vertical descent, jump airtime, navigation and distance in real time. The report discusses how weather satellites were critical to accurately forecasting the path of Superstorm Sandy, and the essential role of communications satellites in disaster relief efforts after the storm, when many landlines and cellular networks were unavailable. NASA-developed software was used by the Vatican library to digitize and store very old books, and a company in South Africa is using satellite data to increase the productivity of South African vineyards.

The Space Report 2013 also reports on NASA’s recent efforts to quantify spinoff benefits. The report features a section detailing how space agencies facilitate technology transfer, and it includes information on efforts by the U.S., European, Japanese and Indian space agencies. This section also provides new metrics to track technology transfer efforts, showing NASA’s activities over time and comparing its results to other U.S. government agencies. These metrics show that although NASA does not have the largest research and development budget among U.S. government agencies, it makes important contributions to technology transfer and innovation.

 

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