The Teal Group today announced
completion of a new survey of the orbital space launch missions attempted
during the first half of 2001.
The overview was conducted as part of the
World Space Systems Briefing, the 1,400-page, monthly-updated competitive
intelligence service.
(For more info on this Teal service, contact the sales
reps at

The survey found that, from January through June of this year, there were
a total of 27 launches attempted, or about 27% less than during the same
period in 2000.
It represents the sharpest drop in the past five years.
analysts released their survey during the International Space Symposium taking
place here this week at the Reagan International Trade Center.

Twelve of the missions involved payloads for civil space organizations.
These included the Microwave Anisotropy Probe, three major shipments of
hardware for the International Space Station, two Progress resupply modules,
Soyuz crew module, the GSAT 1 experimental communications satellite, the Odin
scientific satellite, the Mars Odyssey exploratory spacecraft, and the
Shenzhou 2 and X-43A experimental craft.

Nine of the missions were for commercial communications satellites,
including Eurasiasat SAM’s Eurasiasat 1, Broadcasting Satellite System’s
BSAT-2A, the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization’s (Eutelsat)
Eurobird, XM Satellite Radio’s XM Rock and XM Roll, Informcosmos’ Ekran M1,
PanAmSat’s PAS-10, the International Telecommunications Satellite
Organization’s Intelsat 901, Societe Europeenne des Satellites’ Astra 2C, and
ICO-Teledesic Global’s ICO-Teledesic 2.

The remaining six missions involved communications, navigation,
reconnaissance, and technology development satellites for the US Department of
Defense and the ministries of defense for Italy, the United Kingdom, and
Russia, including GeoLite, MILSTAR II-F2, a NAVSTAR GPS, SICRAL 1, Skynet 4F,
and Cosmos 2383.

“One of the things we find interesting about the decline of launch
missions lately is that the number of missions carrying commercial satellites
dropped at a faster rate,” says Marco Caceres, Teal Group’s senior space

“In other words, regardless of the reduction in the overall number of
satellites available for launch, commercial satellites have not held their own
relative to civil and military satellites … probably as a result of the
near-collapse of the low Earth orbit commercial communications satellite

As recently as 1998-1999, nearly 45% of the missions launched during the
first six months of the year involved commercial satellites.
In 2000, the
figure declined sharply to 35%, and this year it is down to 33%.
“We believe
that is where the downward trend will settle,” notes Caceres.

“For at least the next couple of years, until the commercial satellite
market starts to rebound with the advent of some of the new broadband
communications satellites, we project about one-third of the missions launched
will carry commercial satellites.
It looks like just under half of the
missions will carry civil payloads, and roughly 20% military satellites.”

                                               Launch Attempts

                               1996    1997    1998    1999    2000    2001
    First half of year           41      33      40      36      37      27
    Second half of year          78      86      41      42      48

The Teal Group is an aerospace and defense consulting firm based in
Fairfax, Virginia.
It provides competitive market intelligence to industry
and government.