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The global space debris monitoring and removal market size was valued at USD 866.4 million in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 942.3 million in 2022 to USD 1,527.7 million by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.15% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with space debris monitoring and removal experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -3.7% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
In the last few years, space debris has become a major threat to 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 Impact of 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 in the last couple of years, 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 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 of space debris monitoring and removal
The U.S.-based start-up named OrbitGuardians offers active space debris monitoring and removal services. The company uses technologies such as computer vision, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze, monitor, and remove 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 (CRD2) project. The firm focuses on the removal of rocket components launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Thus, the pandemic 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 Noticeable 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 space orbits. This sustainable step will drastically reduce the number of space debris by increasing the lifespan of satellites in the near future. Similarly, Obruta Space Solutions uses tethered-net removal technology to monitor the debris in space.
Likewise, companies, such as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), have successfully launched Falcon 9 Full Thrust Version reusable rocket, and Blue Origin’s New Shepard, Starship, and New Glenn reusable rocket programs will assist in reducing space debris in the future.
Rising Satellite Launches and Space Exploration Activities Boost Space Debris Monitoring and Removal Market Growth
The exponential rise in demand for network and communication and network-based services across the globe has enabled space launches over the past few years. The Starlink program carried out by SpaceX received approval from the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to launch a 12000 startling small satellite for the internet constellation. Moreover, the company is preparing to arrange a spectrum to add a 30000 startling satellite in the near future.
Furthermore, in April 2022, NASA signed a contract worth USD 280 million with private firms to begin developing near-Earth space communication services. The companies are developing and demonstrating near-Earth space communication services. The private companies include SpaceX, Kuiper Government Solutions, Viasat Incorporated, Inmarsat Government, SES Government Solutions, and Telesat U.S. Services. The space agency also announced that it has four more missions launching this year, there are currently 24 Earth-science missions in orbit, and NASA will launch four more by the end of 2022.
There has been increased demand for satellite launches by the U.S. Space Force for the ULA mission. For instance, in June 2022, the U.S. Space Force signed a contract with United Launch Alliance and SpaceX for missions scheduled to fly in the next two years, the contract valued at USD 846 million. ULA received 60% of the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) missions set to launch in five years through 2027, and SpaceX won 40%.
Moreover, in the last five years, orbital launch attempts have particularly increased in countries such as the U.S, Russia, China, Japan, India, and France. There are approximately 3,373 active operational satellites in the Earth's orbit, which are anticipated to surge significantly in the next few years.
Furthermore, in December 2021, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signed six agreements with four countries for launching foreign satellites during 2021-2023. ISRO has been commercially launching satellites belonging to other countries on board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Surging Partnership among Key Nations for Space Situational Alertness to Boost Space Debris Monitoring and Removal Market Growth
In the U.S., China, Russia, and India, space is increasingly identified as a sector of tactical significance for national security. European and Asian countries are looking forward to using space for safety, national security, and scientific purposes. At present, around 80 nations are active in the space industry.
For instance, in April 2022, the Indian Government and the U.S. Government signed a contract for a new 'Space Situational Awareness' arrangement. The signing of the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) will help in the exchange of data on the threat posed to the satellites and other assets between the two countries. In this agreement, India will receive data from the U.S. about space debris and other objects in space and the potential threat that may pose to the safety and security of new launches as well as existing satellites and other space assets.
Furthermore, in April 2022, Atos and OHB signed a contract with the German Federal Armed Forces to supply the "Space Situational Awareness Center Expansion Stage 1". The two companies are supporting the German federal armed forces in the creation of a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) system to protect Germany's national space infrastructure.
In May 2022, LeoLabs signed an agreement with the U.K. Space Agency (UKSA). Under this contract agreement, LeoLabs is providing real-time observation data from its global radar network to the UKSA for all U.K. licensed satellites in LEO.
Thus, the growing requirement for partnership among the countries for collaborating space traffic is expected to propel the market growth.
Lack of Regulatory Norms for Removal of Space Debris May Hinder 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 space debris by monitoring and removal process. However, most of the norms are restricted to the monitoring aspect of space debris. Debris removal norms are not specified or drafted by the key agencies and governing bodies. This has resulted in the global market growth of the space debris removal industry.
To overcome these space debris issues, researchers across the globe have proposed the orbital-use fees agreement to curb space debris in 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.
Space Debris Removal Segment to Grow at a Higher CAGR Due to Rising Debris Removal Missions by Various Space Agencies
Based on application, the market is bifurcated into space debris monitoring and space debris removal. The space debris removal segment is projected to display substantial growth during the forecast period. The growth of the segment is accredited to the growing development of initiatives by various space agencies for the removal of space debris in recent years.
The space debris monitoring segment is expected to dominate the market due to rise in space exploration activities and space debris modeling.
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1mm to 1cm Debris Size Segment to Dominate Market Due to Increase in Space Debris
Based on debris size range, the 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 led 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 observe notable growth due to surging 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 the Earth. Thus, the removal of this debris will boost the growth of the segment.
In case of the greater than 10cm segment, the rise in 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.
Rise in Space Launches in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Orbit May Propel Segment Growth
Based on 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 estimated to develop prominently throughout the projection period backed by the growing spending by the governments of several economies for space exploration activities in the near future.
Commercial Segment to be the Faster Growing Segment Propelling Market Growth
Based on end-use, the market is divided into commercial and defense.
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 monitoring and removal from the Earth orbit. Many start-ups in Asian and European countries are looking forward to designing and developing debris removal processes in the coming years.
The defense segment is predicted to grow significantly through the projection period owing to increasing investment by governments and agencies of numerous nations 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, 2021 (USD Million)
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The global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World based on region.
The market in North America was valued at USD 268.6 million in 2021 and is estimated to remain dominant during the forecast period, 2022-2029. The U.S. has the largest space-based companies as compared to any European and Asian countries. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Defense spends hugely on monitoring space debris to curb space debris in the coming years. In addition, the incidence of key space organizations, such as Altius Space, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and the Boeing Company, fuels the market growth in North America.
The European market is anticipated to grow at a significant growth rate 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 a Swiss start-up Clearspace SA. Under this contract, the ESA will purchase a unique service for the first removal of an item of space debris from orbit. Under this mission, the removal of Vespa (Vega secondary payload adapter) will be carried out from orbit.
Asia Pacific is predicted to grow at a greater CAGR during the forecast period. The growth can be accredited to the rising demand for space situational awareness capabilities from India, China, and Japan. Chinese 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 rest of the world is also projected to develop at a steady pace in the next few years. The growth can be accredited to the growing partnership amongst non-U.S. countries for space situational awareness capabilities.
For instance, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) collaborated with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in order to deploy a space debris tracking station inside the Optical Space Research (OSR) Laboratory. The OSR facility includes space debris monitoring and removal tracking telescope as part of the Small Aperture Robotic Telescope Network (SMARTnet). This is a dedicated sensory network based on telescope systems.
Lockheed Martin Corporation is Fixated on Offering Advanced Space Debris Monitoring Abilities
Lockheed Martin Corporation is a major player in the global market. The company is primarily emphasizing on providing software and services for space debris monitoring and removal programs. The player adopts growth tactics such as collaborations, contracts, and novel product development to maintain its position in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Space Debris Monitoring And Removal Market
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The report provides detailed market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as key players, offering, objects, and end-user of space debris monitoring and removal. Moreover, the research report offers insights on market trends, competitive landscape, market competition, product pricing, market status, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the sizing of the global market in recent years.
Value (USD Million)
By 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 866.4 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 1,527.7 million by 2029.
Registering a CAGR of 7.15%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The space debris 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 market share.
ClearSpace (Switzerland), Northrop Grumman Corporation (U.S.), Orbit Guardians (U.S.), Obruta (Canada), Share my space (France) and Voyager Space Holdings Inc. (U.S.) are some of the key players that are currently active in the field of space debris market.
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