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We depend on satellites more than you may realize

The Aerospace Industries Association released a new infographic, “Secure Our Satellites,” highlighting the importance of satellites on our modern way of life, the threats they face, and why we need to protect them. To protect and defend our satellites, we must build resilient space architectures and strengthen partnerships between industry and government. With the global space economy valued at $469 billion and 152,000 Americans directly employed in the space industry, threats to United States assets in orbit cannot be ignored.

Space provides essential capabilities in supporting national security, the economy, and the environment. Satellites provide communications services, remote sensing and intelligence collection, positioning, navigation, and timing services, weather and climate information, and warning against hostile missile threats. Modern financial institutions could not function without accurate timing services provided by satellites. The goods Americans buy and sell every day get to their destinations utilizing satellite navigation that enables trade in a globalized world market.

However, our adversaries recognize our dependence on satellites, and are actively working to threaten American access to the benefits of space. As a result, they have developed dangerous threats to our assets in space. Satellites can be destroyed or crippled by direct attacks using ground-launched missiles, high-energy lasers, or other satellites also in orbit. In addition to directed threats, environmental factors like space debris can threaten satellite operations, which in turn can have effects on our ability to use satellites on the ground.

This infographic emphasizes the importance of the space domain on what we do on Earth, and highlights threats that can hold satellites at risk. As industry continues to innovate on new ways to utilize satellites for our benefit, it is essential to strengthen partnerships between commercial companies and the government to protect space systems. The Aerospace Industries Association stands ready to help bridge that gap between industry and government and foster collaboration to secure our satellites.

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