20-Year Projection of Satellite Launches Rises

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The number of worldwide satellites proposed for launch in the next 20 years is estimated to be 2,229, a 10 percent increase from last year’s estimate, according to the aerospace consulting firm Teal Group Corp.

Civil and commercial payloads account for 77 percent of the total, military payloads account for 19 percent and university payloads account for 4 percent, Fairfax, Va.-based Teal Group said in its March 29 report, “World Space Systems Briefing.” Of these payloads, 62 percent are headed for low Earth orbits, 23 percent are headed for geostationary orbits and 4 percent are headed for other orbits or deep space trajectories.

The increase from the estimate released by the company last year reflects an increase in the number of announced commercial communications satellites and dozens of planned nanosatellites that have been proposed by universities, commercial firms and the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, the report said. Historically, at least half of the payloads announced do not receive enough funding to be built and launched, the report said.