The first half of 2020 has been sluggish for the commercial launch industry, but its problems can’t be explained solely by the coronavirus pandemic.
Japanese synthetic aperture radar (SAR) company Synspective announced April 14 it will launch its first satellite with Rocket Lab after initially selecting Arianespace for that mission.
The manufacturer of Russia’s workhorse Soyuz-2 rocket said it has paused production to keep factory workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since 60% of Avio’s revenue comes from manufacturing, the French government’s March 16 decision to suspend launches from the Guiana Space Center shouldn’t impact revenues as long as Europe’s South American spaceport reopens within two to three months, Ranzo said.
“While by no means immune from the broader economic downdraft, we nonetheless expect the Satellite & Space industry to fare somewhat better from a demand perspective than the economy-at-large,” the report said.
Arianespace paused launch activity from Europe’s South American spaceport March 16 following the French government’s announcement that non-essential activities should be limited in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Arianespace completed its third launch of the year Feb. 18, sending a Japanese communications satellite and a South Korean weather satellite into geostationary transfer orbits.
A Soyuz rocket launched 34 small broadband satellites for OneWeb Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, marking the beginning of a multi-launch campaign for the company.
Instead of kicking off a sustained campaign of monthly launches, OneWeb intends to take a break in April after putting up 68 satellites with the pair of launches planned for February and March.
SpaceX disclosed new details about its small satellite rideshare efforts Feb. 5 as it, and other programs like it by large launch vehicle operators, put new pricing pressure on small launch vehicle companies.