1,400 satellites expected to launch over next 10 years

The number of satellites for commercial and government applications is set to grow more than the market value of the business over the next decade, with an average of 140 satellites with a launch mass over 50Kg expected to launch each year, according to research by Euroconsult.

According to the Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2024 report, the bulk of revenues for the manufacturing and launch of satellites will be due to government contracts rather than commercial applications.

In the commercial space sector, Euroconsult anticipates a total of 550 satellites to be launched over the decade by 40 companies. Most of these satellites will be for the replacement of the communications capacity currently in orbit. Eighty per cent of the commercial space market will remain concentrated in geostationary orbit, which will be the destination of 300-plus satellites operated by 30 companies for communications and broadcasting services.

According to the research group, 10 commercial constellations to be launched into non-geostationary orbits for broadband and narrowband communications and for Earth observation imagery should represent a market of US$1.3 billion per year on average.

Governments in 60 countries will be responsible for 75% of the US$255 billion in revenues expected from the manufacturing and launch of the expected 1,400 new satellites over the next decade. Established space countries will replace and expand their in-orbit satellite systems and more countries will acquire their first operational satellite systems, usually for communications and broadcasting or for Earth observation and imagery intelligence, according to Euroconsult.

“The increase in satellite number would be significantly higher if two mega-constellation projects for small communications satellites were included in the forecast,” said Rachel Villain, principal advisor at Euroconsult and editor of the report. “The 1,400 satellite count over the decade already includes 350 satellites to be deployed by ten commercial constellations into low or medium Earth orbits for communication or Earth observation.”

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