Quantum key distribution is now a mature quantum communication protocol which allows verifiably secure encryption key sharing between two parties. However, fibre-optic implementations are currently limited in transmission distance as quantum-specific amplifier/repeater technology is not yet mature enough to achieve global capabilities. Long-distance free-space quantum communications using low-Earth orbit satellites can enable global capabilities. Recent demonstrations using in-orbit demonstrators has seen an explosion of interest in the field. This presentation will give a general overview of satellite-based quantum communications, discuss future endeavours, and present novel photonic technologies for optical ground receivers.