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The global space debris monitoring and removal market size was USD 803.44 million in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with space debris monitoring and removal equipment witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of -3.72% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 866.42 million in 2021 to USD 1,362.67 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 7.84% in the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
In the last few years, space debris has become a major threat for launching new satellites into the earth’s orbits. The safety and affordability of new satellites and other space exploration activities have become a key priority for the commercial and defensive players in the market. According to the European Space Agency, ClearSpace-1 will be the first space mission to remove an item of debris from the earth's orbit. This mission will be executed in the year 2025.
Unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic has Spurred Opportunities for Private Companies in the Market
Over a long time, space activities were majorly focused on the exploration aspect, governed by government and space-based agency programs. However, it has been observed that from the last couple of years, the activities related to exploration have shifted gradually to the phase of space exploitation. In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted the ongoing space programs and operations carried out by the public space-based companies. This has created an opportunity and has encouraged small and mid-size private companies to invest and offer space-based services to the key players in the market.
The U.S.-based start-up named OrbitGuardians offers active space debris removal and monitoring services. The company uses technologies such as computer vision, the internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze, monitor, and remove space debris of size smaller than 20 cm from space.
Similarly, Japan-based start-up Astroscale provides services such as the end of life (EOL) and active debris removal (ADR) services. The company is working on Phase I of its Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration project (CRD2). The firm focuses on the removal of rocket components launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Thus, the pandemic has had an adverse effect on the growth of the space industry. However, it has also created new opportunities and will facilitate the growth of the companies in the market.
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Rising Number of Space Solution Service Providers across the Globe is a Prominent Trend
Small scale companies are designing, testing, and implementing various debris monitoring and removing technology services. The companies are collaborating with key space industry players to expand their horizons in providing space-based solutions in terms of services.
Canada-based start-up Obruta Space Solutions is developing a sustainable infrastructure to support the emerging on-orbit services ecosystem in the space debris monitoring and removal domain. In on-orbit services, the company offers a service in which the operational lifespan of the satellite can be extended by repairing and refueling the satellites in the space orbits. This sustainable step will drastically reduce the number of space debris by increasing the lifespan of the satellites in the near future. Similarly, Obruta Space Solutions uses tethered-net removal technology to monitor the debris in space.
Likewise, the companies such as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has successfully launched Falcon 9 Full Thrust Version reusable rocket in March 2017, and Blue Origin’s New Shepard, Starship, New Glenn reusable rocket programs will assist in reducing the space debris in the future.
Rising Number of Satellite Launches and Space Exploration Activities to Increase Demand
The exponential rise in the demand for communication and network-based services across the globe has encouraged space launches over the past few years. The Starlink program carried out by SpaceX received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 12,000 Starlink small satellites for the internet constellation. Moreover, the company is planning to arrange a spectrum for the addition of 30,000 Starlink satellites in the near future.
Moreover, from the last five years, the orbital launch attempts have significantly increased in countries such as the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, India, and France. Collectively, there are around 3,373 active operational satellites in the earth's orbit and are expected to increase significantly in the next few years. This will create a large number of space junks and will propel the space debris monitoring and removal market growth.
Surging Partnership among Key Countries for Space Situational Awareness to Boost Growth
In the U.S., China, Russia, and India, space is progressively recognized as a sector of strategic importance for national security. European and Asian countries are looking forward to using space for safety, national security, and scientific purposes. At present, around 80 countries are active in the space industry.
For instance, in October 2020, the Indian Government collaborated with the U.S. Department of Defense to improve its space situational awareness capabilities. Similarly, In December 2020, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) established a Space Situational Awareness facility in Bangalore. A project named NETRA (Network for Space Object Tracking and Analysis) will be carried out at this facility.
Thus, the growing need for collaboration among countries for coordinating space traffic is expected to propel the growth of the space debris monitoring and removal market.
Lack of Regulatory Norms for Removal of Space Debris May Hamper Market Growth
The key space agencies such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), China National Space Administration (CNSA), European Space Agency (ESA), Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) (France), and other space agencies have defined a set of regulatory norms to curb the space debris by monitoring and removal process. However, most of the norms are restricted to the monitoring aspect of space debris. The debris removal norms are not specified or drafted by the key agencies and the governing body. This may hamper the growth of the space debris monitoring and removal market during the forecast period.
To overcome these space debris issues, researchers across the globe have proposed the orbital-use fees agreement to curb space debris in the future. An international agreement needs to be formed to charge the space operators on an orbital-use fees basis. Under this agreement, the satellite collision risk can be reduced to a certain level.
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Space Debris Removal Segment to Grow at a Higher CAGR Due to Increasing Debris Removal Missions by Various Space Agencies
Based on applications, the market is bifurcated into space debris removal and space debris monitoring.
The space debris monitoring segment is expected to dominate the market due to the rise in space exploration activities and space debris modeling.
The space debris removal segment is anticipated to show significant growth during the forecast period. The growth of the segment is attributed to the growing development of initiatives by various space agencies for the removal of space debris in recent years.
1mm to 1cm Debris Size Segment to Lead Market Due to Surging Number of Space Debris
Based on the debris size range, this market is segmented into 1mm to 1cm debris size, 1cm to 10cm debris size, and greater than 10cm.
The 1mm to 1cm debris size segment is anticipated to lead the market in 2020 owing to an increase in rocket bodies and minor objects from satellite launches across the globe. According to the European Space Agency, there are more than 128 million objects revolving around the earth's orbit.
The 1cm to 10cm debris size segment is predicted to witness significant growth due to the rising space exploration activities. It is estimated that there are around 90,000 objects in the low earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit. This debris is obstructing the path of the satellites revolving around the earth. Thus, the removal of this debris will boost the growth of the segment.
In the case of a greater than 10 cm segment, the rise in the space launches in the LEO orbit may increase the number of debris in the next few years. This will facilitate the growth of the market.
Increasing Space Launches in Low Earth Orbit to Propel Growth of This Segment
Based on the orbit type, the market is divided into low earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary earth orbit (GEO).
The low earth orbit (LEO) segment is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the growing interest of the players in launching communication satellites in the LEO in the next five years. SpaceX is planning to provide internet service across the globe in the next five years. To provide internet service, the company is planning to launch 1,440 satellites under the Starlink program. This will create a large number of space debris in the LEO and thus facilitate the growth of the market.
The geostationary earth orbit (GEO) segment is expected to grow substantially through the projection period owing to the rising investment by the government of various countries for space exploration activities in the near future.
Commercial Segment to Grow Rapidly Backed by Rising Number of Start-up Companies
Based on the end-use, the market is divided into commercial and defense segments.
The commercial segment is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the growing number of private companies in space debris removal and monitoring from the earth orbit. Many start-ups in Asian and European countries are looking forward to designing and developing the debris removal processes in the upcoming years.
The defense segment is expected to grow substantially through the projection period owing to the rising investment by government and agencies of various countries, such as the orbital debris program interface carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
North America Space Debris Monitoring and Removal Market Size, 2020 (USD Million)
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The global market for space debris monitoring and removal is segmented based on region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world.
The market in North America is estimated to be USD 321.60 million in 2020 and is estimated to continue its dominance during the forecast period, 2021-2028. The U.S. has the largest space-based companies as compared to many European and Asian countries. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Defense spends heavily on monitoring space debris to curb the space debris in upcoming years. In addition, the presence of key space organizations such as Altius space, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and the Boeing Company fuels the growth of the market in North America.
The European market is anticipated to grow significantly during the forecast period. The presence of the European Space Agency (ESA) and other space-based organizations plays a crucial role in space debris monitoring and removal from orbit. In December 2020, ESA signed a USD 106 million contract with ClearSpace SA, a Swiss start-up company. Under this contract, the ESA will purchase a service known as the removal of objects of space debris from orbit. Under this mission, the removal of Vespa will be carried out from orbit.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for space situational awareness capabilities from countries such as China, India, and Japan. Chinese-based firms are involved in designing and developing their optical sensor network, called Asia-Pacific Optical Satellite Observation System (APOSOS), through collaboration with its space network known as Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO).
The market in the rest of the world is also expected to grow steadily in the next few years. The growth can be accredited to the rising collaboration between non-US countries for space situational awareness capabilities. For instance, in December 2019, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) partnered with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) to host a space debris tracking station within the Optical Space Research (OSR) Laboratory. The OSR facility comprises space debris monitoring and removal tracking telescope. This telescope is a part of the Small Aperture Robotic Telescope Network (SMARTnet), specifically dedicated to sensory networks based on telescope systems.
Lockheed Martin Corporation is Determined in Providing Advanced Space Debris Monitoring Capabilities
Lockheed Martin Corporation is a major player in the global market. The company is majorly focusing on offering software and services for space debris monitoring and removal programs. The player adopts growth strategies such as partnerships, agreements, and new product development to sustain their position in the market.
Dominant Companies List
Start-up Companies List
An Infographic Representation of Space Debris Monitoring And Removal Market
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The market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as key players, offerings, objects, and end-user of space debris monitoring & removal. Moreover, the research report offers insights on space debris monitoring and removal market trends, competitive landscape, market competition, product pricing, market status and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market over recent years.
Value (USD Million)
Application, Debris Size Range, Orbit Type, End-use, and Geography
By Debris Size Range
By Orbit Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 803.44 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 1,362.67 million by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 7.84%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The space monitoring segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast.
Astroscale Holdings Inc. is the leading player in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
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