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U.S. Reusable Launch Vehicle Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Partially Reusable and Fully Reusable), By Stage (Single Stage and Multi-Stage), By Orbit Type (Low Earth Orbit and Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit), and Regional Forecast, 2019-2026

Region : USA | Published Date: Jan, 2020 | Report ID: FBI102005



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Reusable launch vehicle (RLV) is defined as a launch vehicle that can launch a satellite (payload) into space multiple times. It includes the recovery of some or all of the component stages. The main aim of RLV is to reduce the launch cost. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration had a space shuttle program. In this program, the first reusable launch vehicle to reach low earth orbit was developed. This had accomplished the intended aim of reducing launching costs.

The company named Blue Origin LLC, a private American aerospace company has been involved in designing and developing heavy-lift reusable launch vehicles. The rockets will be commercialized by the year 2022. It comprises of two-stage and three-stage reusable satellite launch vehicles. In the case of New Glenn, the first stage is called a booster lander section. It contains an ignition system designed to achieve a certain height from the sea level. The second stage includes a payload section. The rocket is partially reusable its 1st stage would be landed on the ground surface after achieving a described height. New Glenn is expected to be equipped with the highly advanced technology with minimal operational cost.

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The U.S. reusable launch vehicle market is driven by factors such as the increase in procurement of reusable satellite launch vehicle due to the growing demand for low-cost launch vehicles, and a rise in space modernization programs across the globe. Similarly, the increasing requirement for the technologically advanced launch vehicle with a single reusable vehicle is the growth opportunity for the market. However, the lack of a skilled workforce is restraining the growth of the market during the forecast period. Moreover, challenging factors for the growth of the market include high initial investment in the research and development (R&D) activities.

The market ongoing trends are the use of 3D printing technologies, adoption of reusable technology by military forces, and launch vehicles powered by green propellants. Among these market trends, 3D printing technologies adopted broadly by the reusable manufacturers in the market. 3D printing technology used to reduce the overall cost of the launch vehicle. It also provides lightweight and operational performance benefits over other materials. In January 2019, Blue Origin, LLC, started building a manufacturing facility for its 3D printing-inclusive rocket engines. The company invested USD 200 million to build this facility. This will facilitate the growth of the market during the forecast period.


“Adoption of Reusable Vehicles and Systems by Space Research Organization to Propel Growth of Market

In last few years, there has been a rise in the number of contracts between NASA and the other reusable satellite launch vehicle OEM companies to develop the technological advanced reusable launch vehicle. The reusable launch system technology initially used for the first stage of Falcon 9. In 2014 SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES CORP. (Space X) started to develop reusable hardware systems in Falcon 9. It is a partially reusable two-stage-to-orbit medium-lift launch vehicle, which is manufactured and designed by SpaceX in the U.S.

In December 2015, SpaceX achieved the first vertical landing of a reusable orbital rocket stage to send eleven Orbcomm OG-2 type satellites into low earth orbit. As of 2020, SpaceX designing a fully reusable two-stage vehicle, starship. It will help to replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy and also support missions to the Moon and Mars mission.

Moreover, companies such as Blue Origin LLC, United Launch Alliance (ULA), and Arianespace are also involved in the adoption of reusable launch vehicles to minimize the overall cost of the space missions. This will boost the growth of the market during the forecast period.

“Rising Modernization Programs for Launch Systems and Components to Boost Growth”

Recently, there has been a rise in the number of modernization related contracts between NASA and other key companies to upgrade their launch vehicles and equipment. This includes the modernization of 3D printed rocket engines and launch vehicles. In September 2019, NASA and Lockheed Martin Corporation assigned a contract of worth USD 4,600 million to supply six reusable Orion crew capsules integrated with lightweight 3D printed modules.  

Other than the U.S. some of the rapid growing market for the space reusable launch vehicles are planning to developed their own technology. After the successful launch of the polar satellite launch vehicle and GEO synchronous launch vehicle, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is in the process of developing reusable satellite launch vehicle technologies to achieve low-cost access to space. Lowering the cost of access to space is the primary aim of the space program. The current launch cost is USD 20,000 per kg of payload, which has to be cut down by half through low-cost access to space. Thus, increasing the modernization space program will propel the growth of the market.


By Type

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Cost-effective Solutions Space Launch Vehicle Will Boost the Growth of the Market

Based on type, the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market is segmented into partially reusable launch vehicle and fully reusable launch vehicle. Amongst these, the partially reusable launch segment is projected to hold a larger market share in 2018. Many key companies across the globe are designing and developing partially reusable launch vehicles, as in these types of launch vehicles, less technological changes need to be carried out. Whereas the fully reusable segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period due to the rise in demand for cost-effective fully reusable systems and equipment in the launch vehicles.

By Stage

“Rise in Geostationary Orbit Launches for Commercial and Defense Applications to Propel Market Growth”

Based on stage, the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market is divided into single-stage and multi-stage. In 2018, the multi-stage segment was estimated to be the largest segment owing to the rapid usage of multi-stage launch vehicles for geostationary orbit launches for commercial and defense applications. Whereas, the single-stage segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period as the overall satellite cost reduces in the case of single-stage launches.

By Orbit Type

“Increasing Usage of Low Earth Orbit for Internet Connectivity to Propel Market”

Based on orbit type, the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market is segmented into low earth orbit and geosynchronous transfer orbit. The low earth orbit segment is estimated to be the largest segment owing to the rapid usage of LEO based satellites for internet connectivity and navigation purposes. Whereas geosynchronous transfer orbit is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period due to the rise in the application for earth observation, defense, and marine applications.

By Region

North America is the largest market for the reusable satellite launch vehicles, and the U.S. is anticipated to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Increasing space research expenditures would contribute to the growth of the market, coupled with the rising R&D investments in a reusable launch vehicle market. The U.S. is increasingly involved in various space research programs. The growing demand for reusable satellite launch vehicles is estimated to witness substantial growth in the region during the forecast period. The U.S. based SpaceX and NASA focus on multiple satellite launch missions for meeting the increasing demand for satellite communications.


“Key Players Aim to Strengthen Their Position by Bagging Defence Contracts”

The key companies operating in the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market possess a comprehensive product portfolio and partnership with governments across the globe. They have a broad geographic presence and are conducting persistent R&D investments to gain maximum reusable launch vehicle market share. 

Reusable satellite launch vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. are majorly focusing on establishing commercial and defense contracts. Also, they are striving to expand their businesses by adopting strategies, such as investments in mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, design and engineering, long term contracts, and agreements.

List of Key Companies Covered:

  • The Spaceship Company

  • Space X

  • United Launch Alliance (ULA)

  • NASA

  • LinkSpace

  • Blue Origin LLC

  • Masten Space Systems

  • Arianespace

  • Airbus Safran Launchers SAS 


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The report offers coverage of the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market, which includes industry chain structure, definitions, applications, and classifications. U.S. Reusable launch vehicle market analysis is mainly provided for the international markets. It includes development trends, competitive landscape analysis, investment plan, business strategy, opportunity, and the status of regional development. Development policies and plans, as well as manufacturing processes and cost structures, are also analyzed. The report also consists of the import and export consumption, supply and demand figures, cost, industry share, policy, price, revenue, and gross margins.

Along with this, the report provides a detailed analysis of the U.S. market dynamics and competitive landscape for the key manufacturers operating in the market.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period



  Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Partially Reusable

  • Fully Reusable


By Stage

  • Single Stage

  • Multi Stage


By Orbit Type

  • Low Earth Orbit

  • Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit


  • In November 2019, Boeing announced that it offered a proposal for NASA to develop a lunar lander that could be launched in a single module on a Space Launch System rocket.

  • In September 2019, NASA awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corporation worth of USD 4,600 million to supply six reusable Orion crew capsules to establishing a sustainable presence at the Moon as well as Mars.


Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the U.S. market was USD 0.66 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 1.06 billion by 2026.

Growing at a CAGR of 13.02%, the U.S. market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2019-2026)

The partially reusable segment is expected to be the leading segment in the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market during the forecast period.

Modernization programs as well as the increasing procurement of reusable systems are the key factors driving the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market.

ISRO, United Launch Alliance (ULA), NASA are the top players in the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market.

North America is expected to hold the highest market share in the market.

The 3D printing technologies, adoption of reusable technology by military forces, and launch vehicles powered by green propellants are the new trends of the U.S. reusable launch vehicle market.

US Reusable Launch Vehicle Market  Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
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