Commercial interest pushes satellite orders to new heights in government-driven market.
The satellite manufacturing and launch market is projected to see a $478bn opportunity over the next decade, according to NSRs Global Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Markets, 10th Edition (GSMLM10) report. This new study integrates satellites below 500 kg, covering the whole spectrum of satellite mass classes and applications. In addition, GSMLM10 includes cargo and crewed missions to ISS and beyond, making up a significant portion of the market size in the coming decade.
Overall, near term business case viability remains a challenge for all industry stakeholders due to the environment of heightened competitive dynamics. Competition push and market pull will result in simultaneous growth in demand along with decline in value. Amidst the rise of constellations pushing the number of satellite orders above 12,000, and bringing down the price per satellite, new non-traditional business models and customizable solutions enter the market impacting the traditional equation.
Manufacturing price and demand economics are changing with diverse customer and application priorities, rendering conventional market indicators like $/kg and number of satellite orders unreliable, commented NSR Senior Analyst and report co-author Shagun Sachdeva. For example, in satellite communications, $/bits sold is more relevant to operators to evaluate the best opportunity to meet their strategic requirements, she adds.
Launch services markets are going through similar dynamics, where diversification is a response to the changing and evolving customer needs. Launch service providers and third-party service providers are responding to these demands with unique, more comprehensive and customised services, noted NSR analyst and report co-author Leena Pivovarova. The new pricing strategies of recent and established players are making the direct ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison between launch options difficult and increasingly inaccurate on the basis of pure launch $/kg standard.
Despite evolving industry standards, the overall demand pie continues to expand as a result of innovation and technology development. However, there is not enough resources, financial and otherwise, to support all current and aspiring players. Instead of a ‘race to the bottom’, the market is already seeing consolidation and exits, which NSR expects to be a growing trend in the next decade, added NSR analyst and co-author Stella Strataki.
The government and military segment will remain the dominant revenue generator, as it shifts its focus to constellations and missions beyond LEO, with more than $387bn in cumulative revenues. At the same time, commercialisation of space continues at a fast pace with the development of new markets such as In-Orbit Servicing, Commercial Crewed Missions, and HTS Constellations. While new demand is expected to grow, especially in science, situational awareness, and Earth Observations applications, the overall industry will also experience market expansion, due to the diversification of the overall supply.