In 2014 Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket business won 20 per cent of the Global Commercial market for launches during the year, and where supply had typically been dominated by Europe’s Arianespace with 45 per cent of launches during the year. This current year SpaceX claims to have secured 45 per cent of the available contracts, and Arianespace’s market share has fallen to 40 per cent.
Indeed, it is almost surprising that in a two-year period (2016-2017) when Russia’s Proton presence on the launch market has been stymied by launch failures and technical problems, and the Russian-funded Sea Launch system has been completely absent, the share for Europe’s Arianespace has not been greater.
For 2018 SpaceX says it has secured a massive 64 per cent of launch contracts for the year, and – according to SpaceX – Arianespace’s market share will fall to less than 30 per cent.
The numbers come from SpaceX’s Tim Hughes (SVP/General Counsel) in a presentation to the US House sub-Committee on Space, Science & Technology.
“Prior to SpaceX entering the commercial space launch market with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the US had effectively ceded this market to France and to Russia, and no US company had launched a single commercial mission to orbit since 2009,” Hughes said in his testimony to the Committee. “SpaceX has brought this multi-billion dollar market back to the United States.”