Small Satellites Flying High with $37 Billion Market and 6,500 Satellites to Launch by 2027

by | Nov 30, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – NSR's Small Satellite Markets, 5th Edition (SSM5), released today, forecasts the market to yield $37 billion in cumulative revenues from smallsat manufacturing and launch services by 2027, with 6,500 smallsats set to launch during this time. Constellations will be the dominating factor of this growth, making up over 70% of the total market. While growth is anticipated across all applications, communications will drive the largest share of revenues, with some of the largest constellations planned in this segment.

New business models are opening new revenue streams and opportunities in the small satellite market, notes NSR's Senior Analyst, Carolyn Belle. The relative simplicity, and the associated low-cost architecture, are enabling easier access to the space industry. By lowering the barriers to entry, this market is not only impacting the commercial industry, but it's becoming a critical element of STEM education, Belle adds.  Despite a 30% decline in launch rates in 2018, small satellites are expected to regain growth over the next decade as new companies in different tiers of both value and supply chains enter the market and unlock the promised value and solve current bottlenecks.

Despite the overall demand growth, funding remains one of the biggest challenges for the small satellite market. Investors are more cautious about the durability of this architecture. While a growing market, the small satellite industry does present highly challenging business cases. From LEO constellations to dedicated launchers, long-term sustainability remains one of the biggest concerns, commented Shagun Sachdeva, NSR Analyst and co-author. Sachdev adds, As the technology develops and small satellites grow in applicability, there will be a shift towards hybrid architectures – either through M&As or strategic alliances. NSR considers the small satellite business model capable of challenging the status quo by bringing in new ideas and leveraging existing assets “ both in space and on the ground “ to derive more performance from established architectures.

About the Report
NSR's Small Satellite Markets, 5th Edition (SSM5) report leverages 10+ years of experience in tracking global satellite markets and via NSR's proprietary database of small satellites, their applications and their launch providers to offer the most extensive view of the market. This report provides a detailed analysis of the current status and future trends within this sector, including a 10-year forecast for small satellites within the 1-500 kg mass range. SSM5 is an essential tool for all stakeholders in this market “ new and established “ who are looking to invest in or better understand the dynamic trends surrounding smallsats. 

For additional information on this report, including a full table of contents, list of exhibits and executive summary, please visit or call NSR at 617-674-7743.

Companies & Organizations Mentioned in the Report:
Planet Labs, ISRO, Spire, Chang Guang Satellite Technology, GeoOptics, Kyushu Institute of Technology, NASA, Swarm Technology, Alba Orbital, AST&Science, Picosat Systems, GAUSS Srl, STADOKO UG, Roccor, Astranis, Bradford Engineering, Effective Space Systems, Inmarsat, Addvalue, ISS Reshetnev, Sierra Nevada, Innovative Solutions In Space, SpaceQuest, NPP VNIIEM, Pumpkin Space Systems, Northrop Grumman, Luxspace, QinetiQ, Southwest Research Institute, Clyde Space, CAST, SSL, Airbus DS, SSTL, California Polytechnic University, GomSpace, Astro Digital, Axelspace, JAXA, Made In Space, Dauria, Israel Aerospace Industries, Phase Four, ThrustMe, Oxford Space Systems, SpaceX, OneWeb, Open Cosmos, Relativity Space, FOMS Inc, China Great Wall (CGWIC), Arianespace, Expace, ULA, ISC Kosmotras, Stratolaunch Systems, Vector Space, Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit, Maryland Aerospace Inc, BlackSky Global, Kepler, Analytical Space, ViaSat, Audacy, Bridgesat, KSAT, RBC Signals, Infostellar, Cingulan Space, Atlas Space Operation, Leaf Space, Spaceflight Industries, Swedish Space Corporation, NanoAvionics, Satellogic, Digital Globe, Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering, Capella Space, Iceye, Asian Microsatellite Consortium, Hera Systems, TAQNIA Space Company, DARPA, Earth-i, Bluefield., SpacePharma, Goonhilly, Blue Skies Space, HawkEye 360, Aerial & Maritime Co Ltd, Roscosmos, HEAD Aerospace, SRT Marine Systems, AISTech, Sunna Wedra, Fleet Space Technologies, Myriota, Lacuna Space, CLS Kineis, Russian MOD, Astrocast, Hiber, Helios Wire, Sky and Space Global, OQ Technology, Transcelestial Technologies, Tyvak and Orbital Loft.

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 [email protected] to discuss how we can assist your business


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