Disruptive Dynamics Influencing Global Satellite Launch Services
The growth pipeline, which is enabled by recurring demand from satellite constellations, is driving growth opportunities for dedicated launch services
The global satellite launch services market witnessed a 2.98 times increase in terms of number of satellites launched in 2020 when compared to 2019. Another shift that can be observed is the increase in the number of small satellites being launched. Multiple satellite operators with a history of launch in 2019 have launched satellites in orbit. Satellite constellations such as Starlink have launched 1,700+ satellites in orbit and have started services in some countries. Similarly, OneWeb launched more than 200 satellites until H1 2021, indicating the accelerated rate of deployment. In addition, multiple new application satellite operators are entering the market, further expanding the need for satellite launches and increasing the total demand for satellite launch services. A significant portion of the demand continues to come from operations such as communication and earth observation, but the demand from IoT/M2M constellations is also rising.
Owing to the growing market opportunity for launch services, the number of launch service providers has increased. Most of these providers are in the development stage. The intensifying competition will increase the opportunity for satellite operators to choose launch service providers based on mission requirements, launch slot availability, reliability, and price. Dedicated launch service providers will help small satellite operators to become operational and offer shorter lead times for launch, without compromising on mission requirements such as the launch of constellations in mid-latitudes.
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