“Earth observation is expected to exhibit the strongest growth in terms of units launched; over 2,100 satellites are anticipated from 2016 to 2025. Four companies plan to launch more than 1,400 satellites during this period alone: Planet, Spire Global, BlackSky and Satellogic,” said Adam Keith, Managing Director of Euroconsult Canada and editor of the report. “Satellite communication smallsats will also increase significantly to nearly 800 during the same period of time (discounting SpaceX’s STEAM constellation). There are six constellations foreseen, however OneWeb makes up the bulk of these units.”
Including all third-party and in-house manufacturers, around 200 organizations built a smallsat between 2006 and 2015; the coming decade shows a similar pattern. Smallsat suppliers are entering the industry to capitalize on demand with flexible COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) equipment, bringing down costs and development times. Larger integrators focused on larger missions do not necessarily have the capacity to create these smaller, nominally lower-cost solutions at a profit or have the platforms available to support small mission development.
In the next decade, launch services are expected to generate $5.3 billion, a 76% increase over the previous decade. Small-lift vehicles in development will add further specialized supply. Prices from Firefly, Rocket Lab and Virgin Galactic are not expected to undercut existing supply prices. However, with smallsat operators impacted by the launch bottleneck and affected by delays in ridesharing and the like, despite the higher price per kg, the benefit of quicker and dedicated access to space could be attractive for operators.
About the Report
Prospects for the Small Satellite Market presents the various factors that will drive/inhibit growth in demand for small satellites over the next 10 years. The forecast was built on the basis of a qualitative and quantitative analysis conducted from two sources: A dedicated database and a combination of primary and secondary research. This report considers satellites by four mass categories, six regions, five satellite applications and five manufacturer typologies. This report contains thousands of data points and the expert interpretation and analysis found with all Euroconsult research.