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The global space launch services market size, valued at USD 11.36 billion in 2018, is projected to reach USD 31.35 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 13.73% during the forecast period.
The space launch service market came into presence after the launch of Russian Satellite Sputnik-1, also known as the beginning of the space era. The market comprises of a series of activities, such as integration of payload to the rocket launch, launch infrastructure, and assembly. There has been a rise in the usage of launching systems for the commercial applications of satellite. It will boost the demand for private launch system manufacturers.
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The cost reduction of launch services offers an opportunity for the key market players. Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), for instance, is mainly working on reusable launch systems programs to reduce space transportation costs. In addition, human spacecraft projects, as well as deep space exploration projects, are set to drive the space launch service market growth. However, high initial costs along with the launch of services act as the major market restraints. Also, lack of a trained workforce and adaptability towards new technologies are two of the vital factors that may affect market growth.
“Increasing Deployment of Small Satellites to Propel Market Growth”
SpaceX's scheduled ride-sharing launches is projected to boost the small-satellite industry. It has recently declared a schedule for 30 rocket launches of small satellites for the year 2020 and 2021. These launches are easier and cheaper than the previous conventional launches. The main aspect of launching a small satellite is its regular mission for the International Space Station as well as for the U.S. military. In June 2019, Rocket Lab launched seven small satellites to orbit. It was done to greatly increase the access to space using a launch vehicle named Electron. It is a two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle that is used to cover the CubeSat. Increasing deployment of small satellites such as CubeSat is projected to boost the space launch service market growth during the forecast period.
“Significant Investments by Key Companies to Upsurge Space Exploration Missions”
Demand for space research and development (R&D) activities have increased since the past few decades. Several commercial companies are developing, maintaining, and operating the commercial payload facilities for the International Space Station (ISS). Currently, companies, namely, Made in Space, Teledyne Brown Engineering, AlphaSpace, NanoRacks, StaARS, TechShot, and Space Tango are providing features to conduct ISS research, such as in-orbit facilities. It reduces the cost and surges the accessibility of space station research. NASA, for instance, initiated the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) project in 2008. In this project, two of the initial commercial space transportation providers, namely, SpaceX and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, have together financed USD 1,000 million, while NASA invested extra USD 700 million. Involvement of private, as well as public space companies is projected to result in the development of new space launch capabilities. Therefore, increasing funding by venture companies will help to boost the market growth.
“Increasing Infrastructural and Technological Advancements to Trigger Growth of the Land Segment”
Based on launch platform, the market is segmented into land, air, and sea. Amongst these, the land segment holds the largest space launch services market share owing to the advanced infrastructural developments that are influencing the smooth operational performance of space launch services. The infrastructure includes facilities for assembling the launch vehicle, preparing a spacecraft for launch, handling its fuel, and the final preparation for launch. Thus, a rise in these infrastructures and rise in the demand for advanced launch pads management systems is strengthening the growth of the space launch services market.
Furthermore, the sea segment is the second largest contributor to the growth of the market, due to research and development activities coupled with the ongoing technological advancement. For instance, The U.S.-Russian-Ukrainian-Norwegian had a collaboration and had launched a firm named Sea Launch, This firm assists other companies to launch satellites from the mobile launch platform. It is one of the most innovative approaches for that can be operated with satellite communication via command ship to the launch platform. Therefore, these innovative techniques would provide significant advantages associated with the equatorial launch site without the requirement of permanent installation in a particular equatorial country.
Additionally, the air segment is expected to show lucrative growth in the market during the forecast period. Launch vehicles that are carried out by light spacecraft have a significant feature of lifting the launch vehicle by focusing on the first 12,000 meters above the earth. It will help to reduce the distance from the earth to reach the required orbit.
“Development of Various Small Satellites to Propel Satellite Segment”
Based on payload, the market is segmented into satellite, stratollite, cargo, human spacecraft, and testing probes. Amongst these, the satellite segment is set to generate the highest space launch service market share during the forecast period. This segment comprises of several types of satellites are included, such as small-satellite, nanosatellite, mini-satellite, medium satellite, and large satellite. More than thirty commercial operators are building small satellites & are planning to install large constellations in the low-earth orbit (LEO) to offer low-cost imagery and affordable global connectivity solutions.
Stratollite has a payload capacity of 50kg that is primarily used for applications, including communications, remote sensing, and weather. Cargo, human spacecraft, and testing probes are mainly used for interplanetary mapping and star mapping.
“Rising Demand for Laboratory & Observatory Research to Fuel LEO Segment”
Based on orbit, the space launch services market is divided into LEO, GEO, MEO, and beyond GEO. The low earth orbit (LEO) segment is anticipated to be the largest segment during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the increasing demand for observatory space research and laboratory research. They also provide low earth orbit satellite services for the Mars mission, the Moon mission, and several other asteroid missions.
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Nanosatellite launch services are rapidly growing due to its low development cost and large number of applications. A CubeSat is a type of LEO satellite that is mainly used for space research. CubeSat is able to work as a secondary payload on a launch vehicle. In 2016, the total number of commercial satellite launches throughout the globe was 64. Among these 28 satellite launched in LEO, 28 satellite launched in geostationary earth orbit (GEO), eight satellites launched in medium earth orbit (MEO), and the remaining two satellites launched beyond geostationary earth orbit.
“Medium-to-heavy Lift Launch Vehicle to Lead Backed by Surging Usage of Reusable Launch Vehicles”
Based on vehicle type, the space launch services market is classified into small-lift launch vehicle and medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicle. The medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicle segment is estimated to be the largest segment due to the rapid usage of reusable launch vehicles in the commercial space programs. A medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicle is a type launch vehicle that is capable of lifting up to 2,000 kg to 20,000 kg weight of payload into low earth orbit (LEO). Falcon 9, GSLV Mark III, and Long March 7 are the recent medium-to-heavy lift launch vehicles. Falcon 9 Full Thrust is a reusable medium-lift launch vehicle that was manufactured and designed by SpaceX in 2014–2015. The main aspect of designing Falcon 9 was to facilitate the re-usability for a more extensive range of missions, including the delivery of large commercial satellites to geosynchronous orbit.
The small-lift launch vehicle segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing segment owing to the increasing usage of small satellites for various communication applications. A small-lift launch vehicle is a type of launch vehicle that is capable of lifting up to 2,000 kg weight of payload into LEO. Vector-R and Vector-H are the two-stage orbital launch vehicles that were manufactured by the American aerospace company Vector Launch to cover the Nanosatellite CubeSat. Innovations in the field of small-lift launch vehicle would not only boost growth of this segment but would also augment the space launch service market revenue in the coming years.
“Commercial Segment to Acquire the Largest Share Owing to Rising Funding by Private Companies”
Based on end-user, the space launch services market is segmented into commercial, and military & government. The commercial segment is projected to hold the largest market share because of the increasing funding from the private sector. Rising usage of GPS and communication-based facilities is also anticipated to boost the launch of commercial satellites.
The military & government segment would grow on account of the increasing launch of communication satellites that are mainly used for radio, internet, and military applications. Several government space agencies such as NASA, ISRO, and European space agency signed multiple contracts with other private space companies to launch satellites in the near future. It is projected to boost the growth of this segment. In December 2019, the Chinese space launch firm, Landspace raised USD 71 million for the development of the two-stage Zhuque-2 launch vehicle.
North America is the largest market in the space launch services market and is projected to be dominant throughout the forecast period. It is set to grow owing to the increasing research & development expenditures, coupled with the rising space programs by NASA to develop technologically advanced space launch services. Since 2017, NASA’s technologically advanced crewed spaceflight program has been helping the U.S. commercial spaceflight companies as well as the international partners, such as European Space Agency (ESA). This program aims to land the first woman on the lunar south pole of the moon by 2024. Growing investments in the U.S. for the development of new infrastructure for satellite launch services by the U.S. government & NASA is anticipated to drive the space launch service market revenue in this region.
North America Space Launch Services Market Size, 2018
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Asia Pacific is also expected to grow by showcasing the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is majorly attributable to the high demand for space launch services from countries including China, Japan, and India. The space research budgets of these countries are increasing due to the rising demand for space research programs. In India, Bangalore-based Devas and Mumbai-based Kawa Space collaborated to develop satellite communication technologies which is associated with India's ambitious mission of launching its first astronaut in the space mission by 2022. In July 2019, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scheduled the launch of the Chandrayaan-2 rocket. The rocket plans to explore the south pole of the moon to search sources of water. Thus, the implementation of several space programs in Asia-Pacific would help to boost the market growth in this region.
Satellite launch services are the second largest area of space-manufacturing activity in Europe after commercial satellites. It is likely to boost up the European space industry. A new satellite launch site for Soyuz was built in French Guiana to increase the performance of Ariane. Apart from that, Vega, a launch system, has developed to manage a wide range of missions. Ariane 5, Soyuz, and Vega would fly from the space control station that is based in French Guiana. European companies will receive an advantage from this family of launchers to cover commercial market needs, thus growing the socio-economic advantages anticipated to boost the market. In South America, the implementation of space programs would continue for developing and launching satellites. In the recent years, Peru and Bolivia have successfully launched a new satellite. It is expected to boost the market growth in this region. Also, the increasing investments from the private key players for space programs will be responsible for boosting the market in the Middle East and Africa.
The key companies present in the market possess a comprehensive product portfolio and are engaging in partnerships with the government agencies across the globe. Therefore, they are able to broaden their geographic presence. Additionally, they are focusing on investing huge sums in R&D activities. Key players, such as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (Space X), Lockheed Martin Corporation., Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, and others are strengthening their positions in the space launch services market by following the above strategies.
Space launch service manufacturers are majorly focusing on bagging contracts from the government, as well as from the space-related companies. Moreover, these companies are expanding their businesses by adopting strategies, such as mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, enhancing product portfolio, long term contracts, & agreements.
The report offers in-depth coverage of the space launch service market, which includes industry chain structure, definitions, applications, and classifications. Space launch services market analysis is mainly provided for the international markets. It includes development trends, competitive landscape analysis, investment plans, business strategy, and opportunity.
An Infographic Representation of Space Launch Services Market
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Along with this, the report provides an analysis of the global market dynamics and competitive landscape for the key manufacturers of the space launch services market.
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Value (USD Million)
By Orbit Type
By Launch Platform
By Vehicle Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global space launch services market was valued at USD 11.36 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 31.35 billion by 2026.
The global space launch services market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.73% in the forecast period (2019-2026).
The land launch platform segment is estimated to be the leading segment in the global space launch services market.
Rising investment in space programs and increasing procurement of nanosatellites, such as CubeSat are the key factors driving the global space launch services market.
Lockheed Martin Corporation., Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation are the top players in the global space launch services market.
North America is projected to hold the highest share in the global space launch services market.
Increasing usage of reusable launch vehicles to launch a satellite is a key trend of the global space launch services market.
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