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Small Satellite Market Size, Share, Growth & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Mini Satellite, Micro Satellite, Nano Satellite), By Component (Structures, Payload, Electric Power System, Solar Panel and Antennas System, Propulsion System, Others), By Application (Communication, Navigation, Earth Observation, Technology Development, Others), By End-user (Commercial, Civil, Military, Government), and Regional Forecast, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101917



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The global small satellite market size was valued at USD 4.90 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 5.60 billion in 2022 to USD 12.02 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 11.53% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with small satellites experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 10.2% in 2020 as compared to 2019.


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A satellite is an object designed and developed for many applications such as navigation, communication, earth observation, and others. Small satellites or smallsats are launched into various orbits such as Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) using rockets. The design, size, payload capacity, and altitude of the satellite depend on the purpose of the mission. Smallsats are mainly used for communication due to their various applications such as voice communication and television broadcasting, remote sensing, weather monitoring, internet applications, and others. In 2020, 1,283 small satellites were launched globally.


Production Disruption Due to COVID-19 Made Space Industry to Face Unmatched Challenges 

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the space industry hard in 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major players in this market have faced unprecedented challenges due to production disruptions, postponed satellite launches, and various suspended contracts. The Guiana Space Center suspended Soyuz launch activities scheduled for mid-March 2022. Samara Space Center, the maker of Soyuz rockets, has put rocket production on hold due to the pandemic.

  • In April 2020, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) postponed the International Astronautical Congress, the largest space conference of 2020. Airbus S.A.S has stopped the main production in Spain. The U.S. Space Force delayed the Falcon 9 GPS satellite launch by two months due to COVID19. Therefore, disruptions to existing production lines, supply chains, and contracts greatly impacted the space industry.


Russia-Ukraine War Crisis Impacted the Satellite Market by Canceling Launch Services

The ongoing war in Ukraine, the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies on the Russian Federation, and Russia's response to those sanctions are affecting the space environment in several ways. The impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war on civil space relations between Russia and the West is also affecting the industry’s growth. The consequences of the war are not limited to the areas of cooperation in the civil sphere. Russia and its quasi-civilian space agency, Roscosmos, played an important role in the commercial space market, thereby declining the favor of alternative launch service providers in the United States, Europe, and possibly countries such as India and Japan.

The war also affects the import and export flows of space and technology, with implications for both the economy and national security. Most disturbingly, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has demonstrated outstanding military advantages of commercial space systems, which make such systems likely targets for belligerents and may require countermeasures, or at least consideration, by private companies that control them.


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Adoption of 3D Printed Parts to Manufacture Smallsat to Fuel Market Growth

The number of 3D-printed parts onboard small satellites is growing amid advances in additive manufacturing. Small satellite manufacturers are embracing the technology to cut costs and accelerate production for increasingly capable spacecraft. Advances are paving the way to a future where satellites can print parts in orbit. Moreover, satellites and other important instruments in satellites, such as antennas and radars, can be 3D-printed in space with the help of sunlight, using a new patented technology that promises to eliminate large and heavy satellite parts that take up too much space in a rocket. For instance,

  • In May 2022, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation developed a new solar-powered method for 3D printing satellite antennas in space. Mitsubishi's method uses a special type of resin that turns into a rigid solid material when exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The new technique could reduce costs by removing the need to transport numerous parts that take up much rocket space into orbit.


Rising Internet of Things (IoT) Integration in the Manufacturing Industry to Aid Market Growth

The Internet of Things (IoT) requires devices to be connected to the internet. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and terrestrial GSM networks can support many IoT applications. However, they cannot give the same level of coverage as satellites. Satellite technology is proving to be a critical enabler in the transformation of IoT connections across industries and geographical boundaries. Transportation, mining, consumers, and oil & gas are among the applications. IoT devices use satellite connectivity for data transfer and exchange between components and IoT systems during manufacturing. As a result, satellite connection is critical in the industrial sector and process automation, propelling the industry forward.

The key benefit of IoT is that IoT devices consume the least amount of energy. For effective IoT installations, IoT provides safe and high-availability data services for professional users and a high level of service reliability. The market is expected to benefit from the connectivity provided by IoT in industrial applications for machine control and production via satellites. These are some of the key aspects that are expected to propel the market forward.

Demand for Small Satellites with a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is on the Rise Due to its Expanded Capacity

Small satellites with expanded capacity for enterprise data (retail, banking), energy (oil, gas, mining), and governments in developed countries are in high demand. As a result, demand for low-cost broadband is increasing among individual consumers in less developed countries and rural locations, where internet connections may be limited. These market expectations are driving investments in small sat-based LEO constellations. In addition, there is a huge demand for low-cost, high-speed internet in developed countries. If all planned GEO HTS satellites and LEO constellations succeed, supply could be far greater than demand, lowering the price per megabit.

SpaceX (U.S.), Orbcomm (U.S.), and SES S.A (Luxembourg), as well as Planet Labs (U.S.) have launched satellite constellations into orbit. OneWeb (U.K.), Boeing (U.S.), TeleSat (Canada), and Amazon (U.S.) are all working on tiny satellite constellations. However, not all of them are likely to succeed. Although there is a high demand for low-cost, high-speed broadband in developed countries, if all planned GEO HTS satellites and LEO constellations succeed, supply could far outstrip demand, driving the price per megabit down to 3 terabits of bandwidth by 2025 for broadband access from GEO, MEO, and LEO satellites; proposed LEO constellations could deliver nearly 10 times as much.


Shortage of Small Satellite Launch Vehicles to Restrain Market Growth

Small satellite launch options include rideshares as secondary payloads on rockets launching giant satellites or transporting cargo to the International Space Station. The inexpensive cost of a piggyback launch is offset by the fact that it requires a predetermined orbit and, as a result, delays in the launch of the primary spacecraft. These possibilities impose limitations regarding the integration and launch timeframes, orbit destinations, and subsystem flexibility in smallsat. Smallsat operators have developed technology to safely carry huge numbers of smallsats as secondary payloads on large launchers due to businesses such as Spaceflight Industries (U.S.), ECM Space (Germany), TriSept (U.S.), Tyvak (U.S.), and Innovative Solutions in Space (Netherlands).

Existing significant launcher organizations (ISRO (India), ULA (U.S.), Glavkosmos (Russia), Arianespace (Europe), and MH (Japan)) have announced intentions to increase the number of launches in the coming years, anticipating large volumes of satellite launches. Other companies, such as Blue Origin, SpaceX, and ULA, are working on huge new launchers scheduled to be operational in the next two to five years and are available for smallsat rideshares.

However, dedicated tiny satellite launch vehicles for only small payloads are currently unavailable, which might theoretically provide very reliable, rapid, and dedicated access to several orbits and aircraft. These vehicles' usual specific launch cost is often higher than their medium and intermediate lift counterparts, and the payload may not fully exploit the vehicle's capabilities. As a result, the payload operator may be unable to justify the usage of the launch vehicle on a financial basis. The restrictions that must be overcome are competitive pricing, similar complexity to large LVs, scaling down with profit reduction for LV makers, and export concerns.


By Type Analysis

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Mini Satellite Segment Dominated the Market Due to Increased Research & Development Activities 

Based on type, the market is segmented into mini satellite, nano satellite, and micro satellite. The mini satellite segment had the largest market share in 2021. The dominance is due to increased research and development activities and the rise of space laboratories for upcoming missions to asteroids, the moon, and Mars. It is estimated that the nano satellite segment will witness significant growth over the small satellite market forecast period owing to increasing usage for earth observation. The micro satellite segment will see modest growth due to the increasing use of CubeSat for space exploration and scientific applications.

By Component Analysis

Structures Segment is Anticipated to Grow at a Faster Pace due to Increasing Demand for Smallsats 

On the basis of component, the market is categorized into payload, structures, solar panel and antenna system, electric power system, propulsion system, and others. The structures segment will see significant growth over the period 2022-2029. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand for satellites for various applications. The growing demand for satellites is due to the expansion of satellite services in remote locations, which, in turn, is driving the growth of the structures segment.

The payload segment is predicted to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Payloads will be used for numerous applications such as navigation, communications, earth observation, weather monitoring, and others. An electrical power system is used to power satellite systems. The solar panel and antenna system segment will see moderate growth as it is used to power satellite subsystems such as navigation systems, communication systems, and others.

By Application Analysis

Communication Segment to Dominate Owing to Growing Use of Satellites 

Based on application, the market is segmented into communication, navigation, earth observation, technology development, and others. The communication segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2022-2029. The growth is attributed to the increased adoption of communications antennas in the government and commercial sectors. Satellites provide various communications services such as data communications, broadcasting, and telecommunications.

Satellites play an important role in providing programs for laptops, mobile phones, and personal digital assistants. The earth observation segment is expected to see significant growth as it is used to monitor climate and water. Navigation will see remarkable growth due to increased use of GPS for mapping, aircraft navigation, and agricultural assistance.

By End-user Analysis

Commercial Segment to Hold Largest Market Share Attributable to its Adoption in Military Applications 

Based on end-user, the market is segmented into civil, commercial, military, and government. The commercial segment has the largest market share due to the growing number of internet services and mobile users in 2021. The increasing use of satellites for enemy surveillance is driving the market growth. Satellites offer various commercial applications such as navigation, communications, weather forecasting, and others.

The military segment will grow significantly due to the increasing use of satellites in surveillance missions. The government segment will see notable growth due to increasing involvement of government space agencies in satellite development programs.


North America Small Satellite Market Size, 2021(USD Billion)

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The global market is segmented, based on region, into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.

The market size in North America was USD 2.53 billion in 2021. North America held the largest market share and continued to dominate over the forecast period. Increasing research and development activities by NASA and growing military spending on surveillance missions are driving the market across the region. NASA's adoption of SKYWAN technology and tri-band antenna enables real-time transmission, which is the best transmission for each application. In July 2020, the CubeSat launch initiative deployed the 109th CubeSat from the international space station.

Europe is expected to witness healthy small satellite market growth over the forecast period due to the launch of the internet and IoT-based services for numerous applications. The key variable liable for the development of the market is that the makers aim toward limiting general mission cost. Moreover, rising developments in the tech area for space investigations are additionally assessed to improve the abilities of smallsat, consequently driving the market development.The Asia Pacific region is witnessing remarkable growth in the small satellite market due to the growing demand for satellites from India, China, and Japan. Between 2020 and 2021, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to launch several satellites, including three communications satellites, 10 earth observation satellites, three space research satellites, and two navigation satellites.

The rest of the world will experience significant growth during the forecast period due to the rise of internet-based services in the Middle East and Africa. In any case, the factor that could hamper market development throughout the next few years is lower expense associated with the creation of satellites, making market players pick up the pace of the production cycle, thereby bringing about a high risk of takeoff failures.


Key Players Focus on Business Expansion through New Product Launches 

Satellite manufacturers primarily focus on expanding business through contracts with space companies and government agencies. In February 2020, Airbus S.A.S presented a new portfolio of Earth observation satellites, including S250 Optical and S250 Radar. In July 2020, Airbus developed Prometheus, a next-generation Software-defined Radio (SDR) payload, launched on Faraday1 CubeSat from New Zealand.



  • February 2022 - Space Logistics, a division of Northrop Grumman Corporation, announced a launch agreement for its Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV) spacecraft and the sale of its first Mission Extension Pod (MEP). Under the terms of the agreement, SpaceX will provide launch services for the MRV and six MEPs, which are scheduled to fly in spring 2024.

  • April 2022 - NASA awarded a total of USD 278.5 million in contracts to Amazon's satellite venture, SpaceX's Starlink network, and other satellite companies to demonstrate communications in space as the U.S. space agency moves to replace its current satellite network in orbit with privately-built systems.

  • March 2022 - Boeing introduced a new high-throughput smallsat production, integration, and test facility aimed to maximize productivity and shortening delivery times. The smallsat production line will be powered by Boeing subsidiary Millennium Space Systems and housed in the world's largest satellite factory, Boeing's 1-million-square-foot El Segundo plant (92,903 square meters).

  • July 2022 - Vaya Space, Inc., a hybrid vortex rocket company and an emerging leader in sustainable access to space, announced that All2Space signed an exclusive agreement to launch a satellite constellation with Vaya Space. All2Space, developer of CubeSat, is launching an aggregator with a legacy of the Brazilian Space Agency that plans to develop and manage its own constellation with a focus on operations in Latin America.

  • September 2021 - ISRO and Bhutan Telecom Authority signed a contract to jointly develop a smallsat. The deal was signed by Jigme Tenzing, the Director General of Bhutan's Information Technology and Telecom, and R Umamaheswaran, the Scientific Secretary of the Indian Space Research Organization.


An Infographic Representation of Small Satellite Market

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The global market report offers an in-depth technical analysis of the market. It mainly focuses on key aspects such as leading market players, the impact of COVID19 on the market, major technological trends, systems, and the research ideology of the product. Additionally, the report provides insights into market trends and highlights key industry developments and trends. Apart from the mentioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that will contribute to the market's growth during the forecast period.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Type, Component, Application, End-user, and Geography

By Type

  • Mini Satellite

  • Micro Satellite

  • Nano Satellite

By Component

  • Structures

  • Payload

  • Solar Panel and Antenna System

  • Propulsion System

  • Electric Power System

  • Others

By Application

  • Navigation

  • Communication

  • Earth Observation

  • Technology Development

  • Others


By End-user

  • Commercial

  • Government

  • Military

  • Civil


By Geography

  • North America (By Type, Component, Application, End-user, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, Component, Application, End-user, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Component, Application, End-user, and Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • South Korea (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Rest of the World (By Type, Component, Application, End-user, and Sub-Region)

    • South America (By Type)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4.90 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 12.02 billion by 2029.

Registering a CAGR of 11.53%, the market will exhibit rapid growth during the forecast period (2022-2029)

The mini satellite, structures, communication, and commercial are the leading segments in the market.

Airbus S.A.S., the Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Thales Group, SpaceX, and L3Harris Technologies, Inc. are the major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.

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