NSR Press Releases

NSR Projects 26 Dedicated Smallsat Launches per Year by 2021

Smallsat Launch Market Faces both Opportunities and Challenges amidst Increasingly Competitive Environment


Cambridge, MA – September 28, 2016 NSR’s Smallsat Launch Vehicle Markets report, released today, finds a global market primed for new smallsat launch vehicles, yet challenged by a range of funding, technical issues, and delays. With hundreds of millions already invested, and new launchers operational as early as 2017, NSR forecasts 26 launches annually dedicated for new smallsats by 2021.

“As more industry, government, and education smallsats look for cheap, timely rides into space, the four currently active dedicated smallsat launch vehicles cannot meet the needs for all smallsat customers,” explains NSR. “Since 2008, at least 88 customers have signed contracts to launch on dedicated smallsat launch vehicles – a sign demand does exist for this class of launch vehicle.  Even combined with rideshare opportunities on larger launch vehicles, there remains more smallsats than rides to space. In response to market needs, an influx of government and private funding – alongside favorable regulatory conditions – have led to over 41 new launchers in various stages of development.”

Looking across the current and future smallsat launch service providers, launchers able to meet technical, financial, and time constraints will perform well.  And while delays have caused a launch bottleneck, an increasing number of new smallsat launch players are angling to take advantage of the glut of smallsats awaiting a ride. This optimism, however, must be tempered against the realities of a market facing many barriers in the near term.

“Not everyone will win,” NSR addes. “Few in-development launchers will ever launch due to tight funding competition and technical challenges, but the addition of new, less expensive launch opportunities into the market will lower launch prices 21% by 2021. Bottom Line for smallsat players, increased launch opportunities and lower launch prices are still on the long term horizon.”


About the Report

NSR’s Smallsat Launch Vehicle Markets report assesses the current and future smallsat launchers and launch service providers, customers, funding, launch opportunities, pricing, and availability. The report provides an industry-first assessment, insights into the main players, the success factors, the challenges, and the likely to succeed smallsat launch vehicles.

For additional information on this report, including a full table of contents, list of exhibits and executive summary, please visit www.nsr.com or call NSR at +1-617-674.7743.


About NSR

NSR is the leading global market research and consulting firm focused on the satellite and space sectors. NSR’s global team, unparalleled coverage and anticipation of trends with a higher degree of confidence and precision than the competition is the cornerstone of all NSR offerings. First to market coverage and a transparent, dependable approach sets NSR apart as the key provider of critical insight to the satellite and space industries. Contact us at info@nsr.com to discuss how we can assist your business.