By June 17, 2019 Read More →

Will mega-constellations be enough to sustain launchers?

The race is on among businesses to bring increased small launch capability to the market, but doubts remain as whether even the volume ambitions of the satellite mega-constellation operators will be enough to sustain so many launch providers.

Many commentators agree that there are far more launch vehicles under development than ca be supported under even

the most optimistic industry projections, with a panellist at the Satellite 2019 conference in May going so far as to say that, of the 100-plus companies currently developing small launch vehicles, he expected perhaps only as many as seven to survive. There are concerns for the industry, too, outsideĀ  of the small launch sector, with panellists at Satellite 2019 predicting no more than 30-35 launches a year for most of the next decade. With launch companies aiming at

8-12 launches per year, that implies a market for just four companies. The assertion was that two of those would be in Europe and two in the US.

As a final caution, they noted that the commercial launch market was flat, at best, and was likely to stay that way for the next few years.

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