Space Industry Market Trends

Space Industry Market Trends

Pierre Lionnet (EUROSPACE, France) and Stella Alexandrova (RHEA System S.A., Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-105-8.ch004

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“Markets can be analysed, described and compared, but most of the time they remain unpredictable.”


2. Space Industry Stakeholders

Space industry stakeholders are national space agencies, system integrators, subsystem suppliers, equipment suppliers, service and ground support companies. The customers in the space industry are classified into institutional and commercial ones.

The institutional ones are national and intergovernmental civil space (and defence), meteorological agencies (i.e. EUMETSAT, NOAA). Today, agencies such as NASA in the USA, Russian Federal Space Agency (i.e. Roscosmos) in Russia, ESA in Europe, JAXA in Japan, ISRO in India, are responsible for the majority of space programs.

The commercial customers in the space market are commercial satellite operators and launch service providers. Commercial satellite operators are often referred to as telecommunications operators and are specialised in satellite operations and the provision of communications, broadcast and mobile personal and professional communications. These are companies such as InmaRoscosmost, Eutelsat, SES Astra and Intelsat. There are also launch service operators that integrate and operate to provide commercial launch services to institutional and commercial customers. Launch service providers are companies such as United Launch Alliance (ULA), Arianespace, and International Launch Services or Sea Launch.

The suppliers in the space industry are system integrators, subsystem suppliers, equipment suppliers, as well as service and ground support companies.

System integrators are the companies that have the competencies and knowledge to design, develop and integrate a complete space satellite. These are companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing in the USA, and EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Europe.

Subsystem suppliers are companies that design, develop and produce space-based subsystems (i.e. solid booster, solar generator, engine, etc.). Equipment suppliers are companies that develop and produce equipment for the successful integration of space systems and subsystem levels (solar cells, EEE components, valves, mechanical parts, software suppliers). Services and ground support companies are companies that provide ground system design, development, manufacturing, operations of non-commercial systems (including raw data sales from EO satellites), and engineering services (ASD- Eurospace, 2008)

Figure 1 presents an overview of the spacecraft mass launched by civil, military and commercial customers from 1989 until 2008 (ASD-Eurospace, 2009, LEAT database).

Figure 1.

Civil and Commercial Customer Launches (1989-2008) (Courtesy of ASD-Eurospace, 2009, LEAT database)

Civil and military space agencies are the biggest institutional market for space companies. After a space agency procures a satellite, the system integrators, subsystem and equipment suppliers start the satellite manufacturing process. Once the satellite is ready to be launched, the launch service providers are responsible for launching the satellite. Then, when the satellite is in orbit, the commercial satellite operators start selling telecommunications services to the end-users. Finally, their services result in downstream applications that could be in the provision of telecommunications or navigation services provision.

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