$250bn-worth of satellites to be launched

Research specialist Northern Sky says that between now and 2025, about 1,600 craft will be sent into orbit, at a rate of about 110 a year. This is a much greater rate than over the past 15 years when the launch average was about 100 craft a year.

“This is a significant increase over the last fifteen years,” NSR Senior Analyst Prashant Butani said. In the previous 15 years, users launched about 1,500 satellites — about a hundred a year, according to NSR. NSR’s totals include military craft and satellites dedicated to telephony and data, as well as broadcasting.

Butani said that satellite operators face a potential bottleneck because of the “limited number of launcher options available.” The dearth should inspire what Butani called “unusual” launch contracts, which he expects to materialise “soon”.

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