Advanced Television

$250bn-worth of satellites to be launched

June 15, 2011

By Chris Forrester

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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