Space Launch Vehicles: Government Activities, Commercial Competition, and Satellite Exports [Updated February 3, 2006] [open pdf - 116KB]
"Launching satellites into orbit, once the exclusive domain of the U.S. and Soviet governments, today is an industry in which companies in the United States, Europe, China, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, and India compete. In the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) owns and launches its space shuttle. Private sector companies provide launch services for other NASA launches and most Department of Defense (DOD) launches. Commercial customers purchase launch services from the U.S. companies or their competitors. Since the early 1980s, Congress and successive Administrations have taken actions, including passing several laws, to facilitate the U.S. commercial space launch services business. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates the industry."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB93062
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