10-year Forecast Shows Big Rise in Satellite Launches

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Paris-based Euroconsult is forecasting a 51 percent increase in the number of satellites that will be built for launch during the next 10 years compared with the previous decade.

According to the annual forecast of global launch activity the consulting firm released Aug. 25, an estimated 1,145 satellites — worth $196 billion worldwide — will be built between 2011 and 2020. About 70 percent of the satellites can be attributed to government demand, Euroconsult said.

“Governments continue to dominate the space market, as satellite systems are critical infrastructure for communications and geo-information solutions for civilian and military users,” Rachel Villain, director for space at Euroconsult and editor of the report, said. “The government market is worth more than double the commercial market, but is largely closed to nondomestic manufacturers. However, export opportunities for the manufacturers exist with governments in countries with no space industry.”

All told, a total of 777 government satellites will launch worldwide in the decade ahead, Euroconsult predicts, with 80 percent of those satellites coming from the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, China and India.