A study (Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2026) from Paris-based Euroconsult says that it anticipates that 300 satellites with a mass over 50 kg will be launched on average each year by 2026 for government agencies and commercial organisations worldwide. This is a threefold increase over the past decade as the satellite market experiences a paradigm shift with the rise of small satellites and mega constellations, such as that of OneWeb.
While many mini-satellites are not of any great interest to their broadcasting and communications operators and users, Euroconsult adds that the overall sector is undergoing a “massive change” in the design, testing and production, and launch as well, as illustrated by [mega-constellation] OneWeb,” said Rachel Villain, Principal Advisor at Euroconsult and editor of the report. “However, it remains to be seen how these new satellite concepts will incentivize demand for satellite services on Earth through lower costs, especially considering that, ultimately, the cost of ownership for satellite services also includes a large investment on the ground.”
“In the commercial space sector, Euroconsult believes that about 2,000 satellites will be launched over the decade, of which about half will be for OneWeb. Almost two-thirds of the commercial space market of $65 billion will remain concentrated in geostationary orbit, the destination of 150 new satellites for communications and broadcasting services. The 1,800 satellites to be launched into non-geostationary orbits for the 23 constellations to collect or transport data should represent a market of $2 billion per year on average over the decade.”