Three thousand, three hundred satellites are to be built and launched during the next decade for a market value of $284 billion, driven by governments and commercial constellations — this information according to a 2018 forecast by research and analysis firm, Euroconsult.
The company anticipates that 330 satellites with a mass over 50 kg. will be launched on average each year by 2027 for government agencies and commercial organizations worldwide This is a threefold increase over the past decade, as the satellite market experiences a paradigm shift with the rise of smallsats and large constellations.
The 3,300 satellites that weigh more than 50 kg. to be launched over the 2018 to 2027 timeframe should represent a market of $284 billion for the space industry in terms of building and launching, up 25 percent over that of the past decade. At the same time, a price decrease is visible in the satellite industry, driven by the commercial constellations of smallsats introducing new production and operation concepts including economies of scale, softwarization, and vertical integration up to data analytics.
Governments will remain the largest customer of the satellite and launch industries, with 1,300+ satellites to be launched over the next 10 years by about 70 countries for a market value of over $200 billion. Governments dominate the space industry as established space countries replace and expand their on-orbit satellite systems and more countries acquire their first operational satellite systems, usually for communications, Earth Observation (EO) and imagery intelligence — 85 percent of the government market will remain concentrated in the 10 countries that already possess an established space industry (U.S., Russia, China, Japan, India and the top five European countries). The remaining 60 countries will invest in satellite systems to develop domestic space capabilities, or to acquire their first systems (usually for communications, Earth observation and imagery intelligence) in order to be more responsive to national social and economic development needs.
In the commercial space sector, Euroconsult believes about 50 companies will launch almost 2,000 satellites, of which 1,700 units will be for 22 commercial constellations (of which one single constellation accounts for 70 percent). Commercial space still means communications and broadcasting satellites in geostationary orbit; these satellites represent almost 50 percent of the $70 billion of commercial revenues expected over the decade.
The two other large commercial markets are for non-geostationary orbit satellite constellations for communications (25 percent of revenues) and EO (11 percent of revenues) . New commercial markets are emerging for in-orbit services such as satellite life extension, and for on-orbit tourism (mostly lunar).