[Satellite TODAY Insider 05-16-12] The satellite manufacturing and launch markets will face decreasing demand and increasing competition for the first half of the decade, according to a research report published May 15 by analysis firm NSR
While the firm predicted a rough environment for these sectors through 2016, its report also forecasts that the manufacturing market will be back on an upward track by the second half of the next decade, with the launch services market experiencing more years of stagnant growth.
Overall, NSR projects more than 950 satellites will be ordered between 2012 and 2021, creating $145 billion of revenues for manufacturers. “At an average rate of 108 satellites launched every year over the same period, these will bring more than $52 billion to launch services providers and represent a total of 2,200 tons to lift into orbit,” said NSR Analyst and author of the report Stephane Gounari.
Gounari summarized that the greater launch services market would exhibit a lowering cost per kilogram to orbit, with intense competition and soft demand in the GEO launch services segment amplifying the downward trend.
“[Launch services] revenue levels from 2012 and 2013 are not expected again for at least five to six years,” said Gounari.
The manufacturing market, however, is projected to be back on its feet after a shaky five-year period primarily due to increasing demand across various applications for satellite platforms. Gounari added that the manufacturing sector also would see consequent design changes with smaller, highly-performing satellites and bigger, more powerful systems that could weigh as much as 12 tons.
“The satellite manufacturing market, led by the Commercial GEO Communications vertical, will stabilize and start to grow again soon after the current replacement cycle is over thanks to solid and diverse demand," Gounari wrote in the report. “Game-changing design changes are also coming for Earth observation satellites, with commoditization making sub-meter resolution small satellites widely accessible.”