In the launch industry, heavy launch vehicles have long dominated the landscape. Initially, this was driven by necessity, as satellites were very large, heavy, and required the most lift possible. However, with the trends towards smaller satellites driven by miniaturization of payloads, delegation of onboard capability across fleets and networks, and new constellations announced almost.
With so many small launch startups racing towards success on a global scale, the stakes have never been higher to cut through the noise and evaluate all initiatives for probability of success before committing to a launch partner. Well-informed decisions will be critical to all industry players involved (investors, smallsat operators, brokers, and partners) as they will have far-reaching consequences. So, what factors need to be considered and analyzed to help tip the scales when making these decisions?
The dedicated smallsat launch market is still far from reaching maturity, with demand still overwhelming supply; however, all signs point to progress being made in the right direction.