Introduction to Space Activities

The Space Foundation embraces the entire global space community. We are a leader in space awareness activities, industry services, research and analysis for the global space industry and educational programs that bring space into the classroom. We are one of the few space-related organizations that address the totality of the space community. The Space Foundation annually conducts the premier space industry event, the Space Symposium, and other focused events.

The Space Foundation created Introduction to Space Activities, a broad educational and informative tool for individuals interested in learning more about space activities. This introduction includes basic information about the mechanics of space activities and the space industry.

The space industry is divided into four sectors: civil, defense, intelligence and commercial.

The U.S. government space program comprises numerous federal agencies including NASA, NOAA, FAA, FCC, DoD and many others.

Most space activities are dual-use and many other countries outside of the United Sates carry out military space activities in conjunction with civilian space activities.

This section covers standard acronyms and vocabulary used to describe various Earth orbits, such as apogee, constellation and Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Space Situational Awareness refers to the ability to view, understand and predict the physical location of natural and manmade objects in orbit around the Earth, with the objective of avoiding collisions.

Space weather entails geomagnetic storms from the Sun, ionosphere disturbances and scintillations and geomagnetic-induced currents.

Satellites use a small portion of the radio frequency band to receive signals and relay them back to Earth, and all nations depend on keeping it free from interference.

See a comprehensive matrix of launch vehicles of all sizes from the United States and around the world.