Small Launch Vehicle Market

Increasing Number of Nanosatellite Launch Driving the Demand for Small launch Vehicles

The space industry is booming at present as it is no more the prerogative of the U.S.A and Russia. Now companies from developed as well as developing nations such as the U.S., Europe, China, Ukraine, Russia, India, and Japan, among others compete with one another in the space industry. Initially, the focus of the companies was on developing satellites which were large and heavy, and on developing the vehicles capable of launching those satellites. With the passing time, the space technology has advanced and the focus has shifted to nanosatellites which are being used to form satellite constellations in the space.

Nanosatellites are being extensively used for weather forecast, surveillance, earth observation, navigation, communication, meteorology, and other purposes. It is estimated that more than 3,600 small satellites, including nano, micro, and pico, will be launched in the next ten years. Hence, the focus is on developing next generation launch vehicles which can successfully deploy these satellites into their orbit. With the increasing popularity and capabilities of small satellites, the space industry is directing their strategy to motivate various stakeholders including government, space agencies and private companies, to develop dedicated and next-generation small satellite launch vehicles.

The space industry has also witnessed an increase in missions such as human space exploration activities or development of new space stations, which has in turn created a demand for the high frequency of launches. Consequently, the researchers and the scientific community are designing and developing launch vehicles capable of multiple launches and positioning small satellites into different orbits at low cost.

Currently, the launching price of small launch vehicles (SLVs) is higher and their availability is lower as compared to conventional heavy launch vehicles. But, the challenges faced by mall satellite manufacturers during launch through heavy vehicles are escalating the demand for development of small launch vehicles dedicated for launching small satellites. Currently, about 20 to 30 companies all over the world are working on introducing SLVs in the market. Post the introduction small launch vehicle market is expected to have a moderate growth till 2019, and will gain rapid pace afterwards.

The SLV market is segmented into two types based on the payload range. 500 kg – 1,200 kg payload range accounted for the largest share in the market with 49.40% in 2016. A substantial number of companies such as IHI Corporation, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Orbital ATK, Inc., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. are actively operating their small launch vehicles in this payload range. 50 kg – 200 kg payload range is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, 2017-2026. This range is gaining traction among the majority of the existing and emerging small launch vehicle manufacturers such as the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (China), Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Russia), Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (U.S.), Vector Space Systems (U.S.), and XCOR Aerospace, Inc. (U.S.), among others.

BIS Research has conducted an extensive market research on ‘Global Small Launch Vehicle Market – Analysis and Forecast: 2017 to 2026’. The market intelligence report aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the key development strategies, marketing strategies and market trend dynamics which include drivers, restraints and opportunities prevailing in the industry.

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