163 satellites (>50kg) were launched for civil and commercial Earth observation (excluding meteorology) over 2006-2015. These were launched for entities in 35 countries and generated $18.4 billion in manufacturing market revenues. Most of these satellites were launched by government operators to support policy objectives spanning climate change, sustainable development and industrial support. In addition, EO remains the primary application for emerging space programs; growing funding into these programs is a key driver for overall investment growth. In 2015 civil government investment topped $10 billion for the first time.
The commercial data market totaled $1.7 billion in 2015 and is anticipated to total $3 billion in 2025. Ongoing economic unrest in key Latin America countries and Russia, as well as lower oil and gas prices, are having an impact, as does anticipated price reductions for $/km2 of EO data. Nevertheless, the industry continues to develop positively. In the short term, growth is expected to continue to be driven by defense, with ongoing regional unrest and the limited ability of countries to operate capable image intelligence systems being the main driving factors. Further applications such as in the maritime, infrastructure and resources monitoring sectors are expected to support growth in the longer term.