Smallsat’s supply chain woes

Supply chain issues are cropping up at an inflection point for the small satellite industry. Launch capacity is increasing alongside demand for Earth-observation data and satellite communications. Meanwhile, the ongoing miniaturization of electronic components enables manufacturers to build increasingly capable small satellites.

Euroconsult expects companies and government agencies worldwide to launch 1,846 small satellites annually, an average of five per day, compared with slightly more than one a day from 2012 to 2021. (Euroconsult defines small satellites as those weighing up to 500 kilograms.) That will only happen, though, if manufacturers can find the necessary parts.

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