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The global space launch services market size was valued at USD 8.07 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 9.15 billion in 2023 to USD 20.54 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.2% during the forecast period.
Space launch services refer to services that help launch satellites, cargo, humans, or other payload to earth’s orbit or in deep space for space exploration. The market consists of several public and private entities who provide these services at different costs. There has been a notable increase in the number of modernization contracts between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other major companies to modernize rockets and their equipment. 3D printed rocket engines and modernizations in launch vehicles are a few of the examples of these deals. The global space launch services market is expected to grow significantly with the addition of new developing economies in the Asia Pacific region such as Japan, South Korea, and India. Furthermore, the space market in the Middle East is anticipated to grow at a steady pace due to the development of new spaceports to support the launches in the region.
Furthermore, the NASA Launch Services Program (LSP) is responsible for procuring launch services for NASA's unmanned missions, overseeing launch integration & readiness activities, and providing additional quality & mission assurance to meet the program's objectives. The LSP operates under the NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD). The rising demand for space exploration programs will boost the global market during the forecast period.
COVID-19 Hampered Supply Chain System and Reduced Demand for Space Launch Services
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the space industry, especially in the areas of satellite launches, manned spacecraft, launch vehicles, space launch services, and post-launch services. The slowdown in activity by prominent players changed the market landscape for new launches significantly. For example, plans to launch the Landsat 9 satellite, a joint effort between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, were hampered by the supply chain disruption to COVID-19.
In 2022, a shortage of microchips and other electronic components resulted in the cancellation of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Blackjack mission, which aimed to test a new military communications network in low earth orbit. In the first quarter of 2020, major companies such as Rocket Labs halted shipments until 2020. Similarly, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) had proposed delaying the launch until 2022.
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Increased Use of 3D Printing in Space Sector will Play a Key Role in Reducing Costs
Various space agencies across the world are focused on adopting 3D printing technologies for purposes, such as manufacturing of space RF components and nanosatellites. 3D printing technologies, such as Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) can manufacture complex designs more accurately than traditional production processes. Furthermore, 3D printing speeds up the prototyping process by producing parts in hours. This allows quick completion of each phase. Compared to prototyping, 3D printing makes design changes much more efficient as parts can be produced quickly and economically.
In December 2022, NASA signed a contract with ICON worth USD 57.2 million for the development of a lunar 3D printing construction system for its “Project Olympus” program. These developments will boost the global space launch services market growth.
Rising Number of Public and Private Space Missions to Boost Market Growth
Various industries are investing heavily in space research and product innovations. Government agencies are also taking initiatives to invest more in R&D to create efficient and advanced technologies for space applications. For example, Space Capital LP, a U.S.-based venture capital firm that invests in space-based technologies, added USD 7.2 billion to its 3% of the total global venture capital flows in the first quarter of 2022. Such developments have increased the number of satellite launches globally for various purposes. According to a report by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), in 2021, 44% more satellites were launched as compared to 2020.
Moreover, increased investment in new contracts by major government-funded space agencies to develop and upgrade launch vehicles is expected to support the market growth. For example, in August 2022, SpaceX announced five space launch contracts worth USD 1.4 billion with NASA. The presence of these contracts to enable long-term development of government-backed launch services to support space travel is estimated to increase the global space launch services market share.
Rising Focus on Adoption of Innovative Launch Vehicles to Boost Market Growth
Technological innovation is the key trend gaining popularity in the market. Many research institutes and companies are introducing innovative products to meet industry needs and strengthen their presence in the space launch services field. For example, in 2020, researchers at the University of Central Florida invented a new rocket propulsion system known as the rotary detonation rocket engine. Furthermore, in June 2021, NASA awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for the Mars Ascent Propulsion System (MAPS) to provide propulsion support and products for space missions at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The key players are focused on the development of advanced and reusable launch vehicles to decrease the cost and enhance usability of the rocket. For example, in July 2022, Ariane Group announced the development of a reusable space rocket funded by the European Commission (EC) through the Horizon Europe program. Developments in spin launch and Starship will further reduce the per-kg launch cost and expand the global market.
Rise in Space Debris to Hamper Space Launch Services
Objects in orbit around the Earth that are no longer useful are called orbital debris. Non-functioning spaceships, mission-related junk, abandoned launcher stages, and fragmented debris are examples of orbital debris. This debris can travel at speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour. This velocity is fast enough for relatively small particles to damage satellites and spacecraft. Rising volumes of space debris pose a major threat to all spacecraft including the International Space Station. Such factors might become a major setback for the market growth.
LEO Segment is Expected to Dominate the Market Owing to Extensive Research in Low Earth Orbit
Based on orbit type, the market is segmented into LEO, MEO, GEO, and others. The LEO segment is expected to hold a dominant market share during the forecast period. This growth is due to the increasing frequency of spaceflights to transport cargo to the International Orbital Station (ISS) and the deployment of small satellites in space. Both factors are contributing to expansion of the LEO segment. The GEO segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the analysis period. This growth is due to increased demand for laboratory research and observational space research.
Small Lift Launch Vehicles to be Widely Used due to Rising Number of Small Satellite Constellations
By launch vehicle, the market is divided into small lift launch vehicle, medium lift launch vehicle, and heavy lift launch vehicle. The small lift launch vehicle segment dominated the market in 2022. This growth is expected to be driven by increasing number of small satellite missions.
Further, rising number of interplanetary missions to Mars or Venus and lunar missions will propel the growth of the heavy lift launch vehicle segment.
The small lift launch vehicle segment is expected to be the fastest growing during the forecast period, owing to rising demand for small satellites across the globe. These launch vehicles are economical to launch payloads weighing lower than that of LEO or GEO.
Medium lift launch vehicle segment will witness moderate growth in their demand due to rising number of rideshare space missions.
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Satellite Segment Dominates the Market Owing to High Demand for Small Communication Satellites and Surveillance Systems
Based on payload, the market is categorized into satellite, cargo, human spacecraft, and testing probes. The satellite segment dominated the market in 2022 and may record the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing demand for earth observation and communication satellites across the globe. The cargo segment is expected to grow moderately due to rising demand for cargo transfer to ISS or the Chinese Space Station. Russia has also started developing its own space station. Other segments are also expected to grow moderately due to rising space exploration activities by leading space agencies across the globe.
North America Space Launch Services Market Size, 2022 (USD billion)
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In terms of region, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and South America. The North America market was valued at USD 3.53 billion in 2022. The growth in this region is due to the rising adoption of private launch services for commercial purposes. SpaceX and Blue Origin are the prominent private players in the North America market.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to be fastest growing during the forecast period due to increasing demand for space launches for telecommunications, communication satellites, and surveillance applications from China, India, Japan, and South Korea. The private space industry is also focusing on developing low-cost launch vehicles, further enhancing the market progress.
The Europe market will experience significant growth during the forecast timeframe due to increased demand for advanced satellites. Additionally, in February 2023, IENAI SPACE, a space mobility provider based in Madrid, Spain, won two European Space Agency (ESA) General Support Technology Program (GSTP) contracts with a total budget of USD 1.29 million. The deal will allow the company to mature and further develop its ATHENA (Adaptable Thruster based on electrospray utilizing nanotechnology) propulsion system. Such important developments are driving the market in this region.
The market in the Middle East will witness substantial growth in the future. The rising demand for investments in the space industry is a major factor expanding the regional market size. Countries, such as the UAE and Israel, are investing in space technologies for commercial and defense applications.
The South America market is anticipated to witness moderate growth in the market during the forecast period. The rising number of space launch service contracts in countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, are projected to boost the market growth in the region. For example, in July 2022, Alya Nanosatellites Constellation E.O., a pioneer in the Brazilian space sector, and Vaya Space, Inc., a hybrid vortex rocket launcher and emerging leader in sustainable access to space, have signed a long-term space launch services contract for the placement of nanosatellite constellation in the orbit.
Increase in Joint Ventures by Key Players to Boost the Market Growth
The global market is growing at a substantial pace due to the presence of key players such as Antrix Corporation Limited, Ariane Group, United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, and Roscosmos. Per-kg launch cost is an important aspect in the market to gain competitive advantage. Other factors, such as technological advances and collaborations, will help companies reduce overall cost and acquire more rideshare missions.
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It comprises all major aspects such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. Moreover, the report offers insights into the market trends and primarily highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth in recent years.
CAGR of 12.2% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Orbit Type, Launch Vehicle, Payload, and Region
By Orbit Type
By Launch Vehicle
As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 8.07 billion in 2022.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% over the forecast period (2023-2030).
The LEO segment is expected to lead the market due to increase in space launches in low earth orbit globally.
The market size in U.K. stood at USD 0.24 billion in 2022.
Increase in investments for space exploration programs by emerging economies will boost the market growth.
Some of the top players in the market are SpaceX, Roscosmos, and Ariane Group.
The U.S. dominated the market in 2022.
Rise in space debris is anticipated to restrain the deployment of the product.
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