NSR Press Releases

NSR Report Projects $7 Billion in Smallsat Manufacturing & Launching Revenue over Next Decade

Low Barriers to Entry Engaging New Players and Enabling Novel Space-based Applications


Cambridge, MA – October 24, 2016 – NSR’s Small Satellite Markets, 3rd Edition (SSM3) report, released today, found the market for 1-100 kg satellites will more than double to reach 375 satellites launched per year, with cumulative manufacturing and launch revenues approaching $7 billion by between 2015-2025. Larger, more capable, and higher value platforms are expected to make up almost half of all satellites launched by 2025 compared to the mere 15% in 2015. Alongside this size increase, market expansion is propelled by commercial and government constellations that comprise the majority of launch activity during the forecast period.

“New commercial players are relying on high volume constellation models to open new, profitable markets and extend the reach of the satellite industry,” noted Carolyn Belle, report author. “The short design lifetimes of smallsats enable a regular technology refresh to expand capabilities and improve service quality, generating significant ongoing demand for manufacturing and launch services.”

After a 2014 peak of activity at 169 satellites launched, last year’s and 2016 launch rates are set back by a series of launch vehicle failures and geopolitical factors that delayed manifests and ISS deployment timelines. “Launch remains the single most significant bottleneck to smallsat market expansion,” added Belle. “Traditional and dedicated rideshares will continue to be the main route to space, but the dependence of commercial success on the timely deployment of tens of satellites in unique orbits mean that delay of more suitable launch options will impede market development.”

The ecosystem forming around smallsat market potential, including dedicated launch providers alongside manufacturers, communications solutions, in-space services, and analytics, sets the stage for sustained market success – particularly in novel applications such as Big Data, asteroid prospecting, or applied sciences. But with the burgeoning market on the brink of becoming a bubble, operators must carefully solidify new markets, navigate competition, and retain investor favor to ensure long-term survival.


About the Report

Small Satellite Markets, 3rd Edition (SSM3) delivers the next chapter in NSR’s unique analysis of this fast growing market and the new applications, players, and technologies that facilitate such growth. Assessing satellites between 1 and 100 kilograms, SSM3 takes a critical view of the capabilities and potential of these small platforms for Commercial, Government, Military and University players. Building on NSR’s detailed and extensive database of past and current small satellite projects complemented with primary research and conversations with players across the value chain, SSM3 presents the most thorough analysis of the smallsat market and the emerging dynamics that will drive future activity.

For additional information on this NSR offering, 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.