Govt satellite launches, including from India, to dominate future space market: Euroconsult

NEW DELHI: A major portion of satellites slated to be launched from 2016-2015 with launch mass over 50kg will be dominated by government satellites from countries like the US, Russia, India, China and Japan, according to Euroconsult.

The 1,450 satellites over 50kg to be launched over 2016-2025 should represent a market of $250 billion for the space industry to build and launch.

If satellites smaller than 50kg and the two mega constellations of OneWeb and SpaceX are also included in the number of launches, the total for the decade would grow precipitously to 9,000 units (vs. 1,480 launched in the past ten years), states extracts from the Euroconsult’s 19th edition of the report, `*Satellites to be Built & Launched over the next 10 Years’*, due to be published later in September.

A price decrease is visible in this core market of the industry, driven by 11 commercial constellations using 370 small satellites to be deployed into low or medium Earth orbits for communication or Earth observation, the report says.

"Huge growth in satellite count does not automatically translate to a large market," Rachel Villain, Principal Advisor at Euroconsult and editor of the report, was quoted in a statement put on Euroconsult’s website.

According to Villain, "As the price of the 7,550 future additional satellites is intrinsically low, the very reason for their existence, their market significance is small; they should represent no more than 8 per cent of the $270 billion to be spent building and launching the total of 9,000 satellites."

Euroconsult is a leading global consulting firm specializing in space markets. As a privately-owned, fully independent firm, it provides strategic consulting, develops comprehensive research and organizes executive-level annual summits and training programs for the satellite industry.

Interestingly, over three quarters of the market remains with government satellites. The 880 satellites to be launched for civilian and military agencies in 60 countries represent a market of $193 billion.

Governments dominate the space industry as established space countries replace and expand their in-orbit satellite systems and more countries acquire their first operational satellite systems, usually for communications or for Earth observation and imagery intelligence, Euroconsult statement says.

“About 85 per cent of the government market will remain concentrated in the ten countries with an established space industry (U.S., Russia, China, Japan, India and five European countries). Other 50 countries engaged in space activities will launch twice the number of satellites that they did in the past ten years, that is almost 200 satellites. About half of these satellites will be procured from foreign manufacturers as domestic industry capabilities develop in these countries,” the Euroconsult statement asserts.

In India, satellite launches are done by the state-controlled Indian Space & Research Organisation (ISRO) with some smaller satellites being built by rare private companies, but with dollops of help from ISRO, which has also launched foreign satellites in recent times, including American.

In the commercial space sector, Euroconsult anticipates a total of 560 satellites to be launched over the decade by 40 companies. Most of these satellites will be for the replacement of the communications capacity currently in orbit. Over two-thirds of the commercial space market remains concentrated in geostationary orbit, the destination of almost 300 satellites operated by 30 companies for communications and broadcasting services.

The 11 commercial constellations to be launched into non-geostationary orbits for communications services and Earth observation imagery should represent a market of $1.6 billion per year on average over the decade.

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