510 Smallsat Launches Planned Over Next Five Years

Small satellite market value estimated at $7.4 billion through 2019

Paris, Washington D.C., Montreal, Yokohama, February 26, 2015 – According to Euroconsult’s newly released research titled Prospects for the Small Satellite Market, a total of 510 small satellites, or smallsats (meaning nanosats, cubesats, microsats and minisats) are to be launched in the next five years, a two-third increase in the average number of smallsats per year versus that of the past decade. This total includes 14 constellations of different sizes and capabilities that represent a total of 140 satellites.

75% of the 510 satellites to be launched during the next five years will be for government civil and defense agencies. Growth in government demand will be stronger than in the commercial world where a total of 130 satellites are expected. “Large constellation projects such as those announced in 2014 by OneWeb and by SpaceX in association with Google have not been included in our forecasts/scenarios for launch by 2019,” said Rachel Villain, Principal Advisor at Euroconsult and Editor of the report. “Large constellation projects could, however, represent a very significant component of launches over the following five year period (2020-2024).”

The market value of these future 510 smallsats is estimated at $7.4 billion (at 2014$ prices to develop and launch the satellites). Market growth will remain strong (+17% vs. the past five years) as the small decrease over time in prices and in launch masses (for satellites greater than 50 kg) is offset by more satellites to be launched.

The U.S. is by far the most active country in smallsat deployment with almost half of the 620 satellites launched in the past 10 years; it will remain the largest country for smallsats over the next five years, with Europe as the second-largest region. Russia, China and Japan have each launched a similar number of smallsats over the past 10 years; the average number of smallsats to be launched in the region per year over the next five years is estimated to be lower than in the past five years. Growth in Asia outside the three space powers above will be strong as more countries launch small satellites for two main reasons: National sovereignty and security, and technology acquisition. Finally, four countries are at the forefront of smallsat development in the Middle East, whom together have launched or will launch 27 satellites, i.e. about half of the total of the MEA region.

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