Satellites Space

A new satellite market projection predicts the launch of 1,700 satellites

Euroconsult has issued the 2021 edition of its “Satellites to be Built & Launched” report, the latest in a series that has continuously established the industry norm for satellite market analysis. The 17,000 satellites scheduled to be launched over the next ten years indicate a fourfold rise over the previous decade, indicating structural shifts in the entire space ecosystem as well as the pandemic’s limited short-term impact.

The competition to quickly launch commercial mega-constellations for the broadband communications as well as new constellations for real-time Earth monitoring is heating up. An increasing number of countries are investing in their very first operational satellite system, whether for telecommunications, imaging intelligence, or space exploration, as historical space giants invest in the new satellite applications (– for example, Space Security Awareness).

The current edition of Euroconsult’s satellite market prediction evaluated 170 constellation projects individually, 110 of which are from commercial firms. Despite the fact that Kuiper, OneWeb, Starlink, Gwo Wang, and Lightspeed will account for 58 percent of the 17,000 satellites that are going to be launched, will only account for 10% of the space industry’s satellite manufacture and launch earnings. The report highlights two factors that combine to explain the disparity: satellite manufacturing economies of scale and a significant drop in launch prices.

Despite the proliferation of commercial constellation initiatives, only a few companies have signed satellite manufacturing contracts, most of which are with well-established companies. With the exception of a few significant purchases for huge constellations plus new communication satellites in the geostationary orbit (GEO), global satellite manufacturing competition remains restricted. Governments’ need for satellites fuels rivalry among local producers, who have limited options to expand overseas (because of the national preference in each nation where a space sector is established).

“The axis of the New Space entrants challenging existing legacy businesses no longer exists in the satellite sector.” Instead, the focus has switched to speed and the ability to quickly deliver commercial services from satellite constellations, whether for broadband and narrowband communications (e.g., IoT) or global and real-time Earth observation. New Space is no more the industry’s driving force. “Now it’s all about Fast Space,” stated Maxime Puteaux, who works as the Principal Advisor at the Euroconsult company and the report’s Editor.

Despite innovative business models from the new commercial participants in space, governments still account for three-quarters of the space industry’s revenue, or $240 billion, throughout the decade. Similarly, incumbent satellite makers continue to dominate the industry, with four of them taking half of it for a total value of $87 billion during the last decade.

About the author

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose has lived in Nashville her whole life. Amanda has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade and has contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Oakland Tribune. As a founder and journalist for Murphys Hockey Law, Amanda covers the latest happening in the world of technology.
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