The global satellite launch vehicle market is projected to generate $8,517.9 million revenue in 2030, advancing at a CAGR of 3.6% during 2021–2030. The increasing demand for advanced communication technologies, to meet cloud computing, SDN networking, private LTE services, and other new corporate requirements, and those of government agencies, telecom firms, and the space industry, is propelling the need for more satellites. Furthermore, the government initiatives for space missions and the huge R&D expenditure in this field drive the market growth.
Based on orbit, the market is divided into GEO, MEO, and LEO. Among these, the LEO category accounted for the largest revenue share, over 90%, in 2021, and it is projected to maintain the same trend in the coming years. This is ascribed to the trend of nano and micro satellite launches in the LEO orbit, to provide a cost-effective structure, because the satellites are compact in size and are more convenient to build.
Based on launch activity, the market is categorized into commercial and government & military. Commercial launch activities account for the larger revenue share in the market due to the increasing usage of highly efficient and reliable satellite communication technologies in commercial fields, such as automobiles, logistics and shipping, and commercial aircraft.
Based on payload, the satellite launch vehicle market is categorized into nano and micro (0–200 kg), small (201–1,200 kg), medium (1,201–2,200 kg), and large (above 2,201 kg). The usage of nano and micro payload launch vehicles will be fueled by the integration of nanotechnology in satellites and the incorporation of composites to reduce satellite weight. Because it is not possible to carry small payloads in large launch vehicles because of the latter’s high manufacturing and operational costs, the nano and micro category’s revenue will increase in the projection period.
Based on application, the market is categorized into communication, earth observation & remote sensing, space exploration, surveillance & reconnaissance, and others. Among these, communication held the dominating share in the market in 2021 owing to the growing investments by government and private organizations to develop 5G network infrastructure. Furthermore, utilizing the latest generation of networks and satellite technology, the defense, government, and commercial industries, as well as individuals, are eager to adopt technologies that can assist in connecting and communicating with the remote parts of the world, where terrestrial networks do not operate.
Product launches, collaborations, and partnerships are the major strategic developments in the market. For instance, in May 2022, Skyroot Aerospace, a private Indian company, announced the successful completion of the Vikram-I launch vehicle’s third-stage test.
Similarly, in April 2022, Network Access Associates Ltd. (OneWeb) a satellite communications company, announced a strategic partnership with New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to launch OneWeb’s in-orbit constellation of 428 satellites, to build a global network that will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity.
Some of the major players operating in the satellite launch vehicle market are Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Blue Origin Enterprises L.P., ISIS - Innovative Solutions in Space B.V., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Northrop Grumman Corporation, The Boeing Company, Virgin Orbit., Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).