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The global space launch services market size was valued at USD 12.67 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 14.21 billion in 2022 to USD 31.90 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.25% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with space launch services experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 14.13% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Space launch services are services for launching rockets that deliver a satellite into the earth's orbit or explore the universe. The market for space launch services consists of several operations, including payload integration, launch infrastructure, and launch assembly. The number of modernization contracts between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other significant corporations to modernize their launch vehicles and equipment has recently increased. The modernization of 3D-printed rocket engines and launch vehicles is one example.
In April 2022, according to the U.S. government, the U.S. Congress may pass a freshly drafted omnibus budget package. Under this project, NASA will receive more than USD 24 billion for space missions in the fiscal year 2022. This factor will boost the space launch services ecosystem.
COVID-19 Pandemic Has Delayed Space Launches Leading to Slow Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the space industry, particularly in the satellite launch, manned spacecraft, launch vehicle domains, and post-launch services. The slowdown in prominent players' operations has drastically altered the market for new launches. The planned liftoff of the Landsat 9 satellite, a cooperative effort of NASA and the US Geological Survey, was also hampered by oxygen shipments for COVID patients. Due to a shortfall of microchips and other electronic components, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Blackjack mission, which is supposed to test a new communications network for the military in Low-Earth orbit, may not launch as scheduled in 2022. In the first quarter of 2020, key players such as Rocket Labs suspended delivery until 2020. Similarly, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has proposed to postpone the launches to 2022.
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Surging Use of 3D Printing as a Service in the Space Sector to Play a Crucial Role in Cost Reduction
Advances in additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) are increasingly being used to produce more sophisticated and efficient space launch services. The use of heat-resistant metal alloys in 3D printing revolutionizes trial-and-error rocket development. Structures that formerly would have required hundreds of different parts may now be produced in a couple of days. Relativity Space, based in the U.S., claims to have the world's largest 3D metal printer and plans to use it to build the whole rocket.
In February 2021, Los Angeles-based business Relativity Space intended to launch its Terran 1 3D-printed rocket. After being postponed from a scheduled launch in late 2021, the first test launch of Terran 1 is expected to take place over the next several months from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The providers of space launch services are looking forward to minimizing the operational process during the rocket launch.
Growth in Space Program to Boost Launching Services Demand
Space exploration programs have received a lot of attention, and major countries have dominated the worldwide reusable launch vehicle industry by demonstrating their space capabilities. Furthermore, expanding space and R&D initiatives have fueled the worldwide spacecraft market's expansion. Moreover, growing partnerships among international space institutions to integrate technology and investment are boosting the worldwide market for space missions, which is surging the demand for reusable launch vehicles. The increase in space exploration missions could also increase government spending and the space budget.
Rising Joint Ventures by Key Players to Expand Business and Geographic Reach
Contracts, partnerships, and joint ventures are generally the strategies used by leading industry players to stay competitive in this market. For example, SpaceX was awarded a contract to launch two Kazakhstan satellites as part of a contract with many other satellites using the Falcon 9 launch rocket. In addition, the United Launch Services, LLC was formed by a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp and The Boeing Company. Leading players' actions boost the global space launch services market share to new heights.
In January 2022, NASA shortlisted 12 companies for the Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions. The list of companies includes ABL Space Systems, Blue Origin, Phantom Space, L2 Solutions, Astra Space, Northrop Grumman Systems, Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab USA, Spaceflight, SpaceX, Relativity Space, and United Launch Services. These businesses will be able to get firm-fixed-price task orders to perform launch services for NASA and NASA-sponsored missions. All contracts have a five-year ordering period and a maximum cumulative value of USD 300 million.
Increasing Space Debris to Hamper Satellite Launches in the Coming Years
Natural meteoroids and artificial (human-made) orbital debris are included in space debris. Meteoroids orbit the sun, while most manufactured debris orbits the Earth. Any human-made item in orbit around the Earth that no longer performs a useful function is called orbital trash. Nonfunctional spacecraft, mission-related junk, abandoned launch vehicle stages, and fragmentation debris is a type of debris. There are approximately 23,000 pieces of space debris. These debris are larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph. The speed is fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. The rising population of space debris boosts the potential danger to all space vehicles, comprising the International Space Station and other spacecraft.
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Rising Demand for Small Communication Satellites and Surveillance Systems to Propel Market Growth
On the basis of payload, the market is categorized into stratollite, satellite, human spacecraft, testing probes, and cargo. The satellite segment is projected to share 45.95% of the global market in 2021. The satellite segment is expected to rise due to the rising demand for Earth observation and communication satellites. These satellites will monitor the Earth's surface to gather useful data for mapping, mineral exploitation, land-use planning, and resource management, among others.
GEO-Based Space Exploration and Research Activities to Foster Market Growth
Based on orbit type, the market is sub-segmented into Geostationary Equatorial Orbit (GEO), beyond GEO, Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). The GEO segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period at a CAGR of 12.88%. This growth is attributed to the rising demand for laboratory research and observatory space research. The LEO segment is expected at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is due to the increasing frequency of spaceflights to carry cargo to the International Orbit Station (ISS) and the deployment of tiny satellites in space are both contributing to the expansion of the LEO section of the services market.
Land Segment is Projected to Hold Highest Market Share Due to Rising Land-based Space Launches
In terms of launch platform, the market is sub-segmented into land, air, and sea. The land segment is expected to grow due to a growth in the number of satellite launches from ground-based facilities. The land segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market over the forecast period. Compared to other platforms, the land platform is more cost-effective and technologically advanced. The sea segment is the third-largest contributor to the market's growth due to research and development activities on propulsion systems and other technological advancements in launch vehicles.
Medium-to-Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle Segment to Grow at a Faster CAGR Owing to Rise in Demand for SATCOM Connectivity
On the basis of vehicle type, the market is divided into medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicle and small lift launch vehicle.
Medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicle segment held the major market in 2021 due to rise in adoption of reusable launch vehicles for commercial-based applications. It accounted for higher market share in 2021. Major programs, such as NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, facilitated the space launch services market growth.
Increasing Funding from the Private Sector to Foster Commercial Segment Growth
Based on end-user, the market includes military & government and commercial. The commercial segment held the highest market share in 2021, owing to increased funding from the private sector. It accounted for higher market share among other segments.
The commercial segment is anticipated to be the highest growing segment during the forecast period due to increasing satellite launch for applications such as communication, navigation, and earth monitoring.
North America Space Launch Services Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
North America dominated the market in 2021 and was valued at USD 4.84 billion. The growth is due to the allotment of budgets by the government for space exploration activities and an increase in various space missions. Furthermore, in the fiscal year of 2021, the U.S. congress allotted NASA USD 23 million for various space missions and activities. Moreover, the presence of key industry players, such as United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, and SpaceX, drive the market growth.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growth can be accredited to the rising demand for space launches for telecommunication, communication satellites, and surveillance applications in Asian countries.
The key countries such as China, India, and Japan accounted for the largest market share in the Asia Pacific market.
Europe will showcase substantial growth during the forecast period. The region's growth is due to the increase in demand for advancement in technology and increase in contracts by the European space agency. Furthermore, in October 2020, the European Space Agency (ESA) awarded a contract to develop the world’s first iodine electric propulsion system. Such key developments drive the market in the region.
The rest of the world is anticipated to show moderate growth from 2022-to 2029. The increase in market growth is due to increased space programs and investments by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel.
Increase in Collaborative Projects by Major Key Players to Boost Market Growth
ArianeGroup (a joint venture between Airbus and Safran), Thales Alenia Space (a Thales/Leonardo firm), and United Launch Alliance (a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corporation) have all been dominant in the industry. The cost of manufacturing satellites and the cost of launch services are currently the two most important metrics for companies to compete on. Other factors such as technological advancements and collaborations will aid businesses in lowering manufacturing costs, miniaturizing satellites, and increasing the number of launches.
An Infographic Representation of Space Launch Services Market
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The global space launch services market research report provides a detailed analysis of this market and focuses on key aspects such as top space launch vehicle market companies and leading applications. Moreover, the report includes market trends, market segmentation, market size, growth opportunities, regional development status, and business strategy. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various direct and indirect factors backing the market's growth in recent years.
Value (USD billion)
Payload, Orbit Type, Launch Platform, Vehicle Type, End-User, and Geography
By Orbit Type
By Launch Platform
By Vehicle Type
Fortune Business Insights market research reports that the global market size was USD 12.67 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 31.90 billion in 2029.
The market is attributed to grow at a CAGR of 12.25% during the forecast period.
The satellite segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during 2022-2029.
ArianeGroup is the leading player in the global market.
North America held the highest market share in 2021.
An increase in space debris to hamper satellite launches in the coming years is the major restraining factor of the market.
The U.S. held the highest market share in 2021.
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