The global small launch vehicle market size was valued at USD 1.03 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3.22 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 13.50% from 2022 to 2030. Small launch vehicles (SLVs) are defined as those with a payload capacity of less than 2,200 kg, which are primarily developed and intended for the small satellite market. SLVs are distinguished from conventional heavy launch vehicles by the performance of the vehicle, which is dependent on the amount of payload the vehicle can lift to a particular orbit, and the cost of the launch. With the expansion of small satellite capabilities, the space industry is developing strategic utility, thereby motivating various stakeholders, including the government, space agencies, and private companies, to develop small satellite launch vehicles for the next generation.
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The use of small satellites for a variety of applications, including Earth observation, communication, and space exploration, is anticipated to propel the growth of the SLV market.
Several programs, such as Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA), are designed to create a cost-effective method for launching small satellites. In addition, through rigorous testing of new technologies and research and development, ALASA is anticipated to introduce small launch systems that will provide more affordable, routine, and reliable access to space for less than $1 million per launch.
The SLV market grew exponentially as a result of a rise in the number of SLV manufacturers and launch service providers. The increasing number of satellite constellations for applications such as communication, technology development, Earth observation, and remote sensing is anticipated to be the primary factor propelling the growth of the SLV market.
Due to a rise in the number of SLV manufacturers and launch service providers, the SLV market expanded at an exponential rate. The rising number of satellite constellations for applications such as communication, technology development, Earth observation, and remote sensing is anticipated to be the primary factor propelling the SLV market. Due to the increase in the number of satellite constellations for satellite applications such as remote sensing, navigation, communication, and earth observation, the global SLV market has gained widespread importance. However, the high price of SLVs is one of the factors inhibiting market expansion.
Although due to the rise in the number of satellite constellations for satellite applications such as remote sensing, navigation, communication, and earth observation, the global SLV market has attained a high level of significance. But, factors related to the high price of SLVs are inhibiting the market's expansion. It is due to this lack of cost-effectiveness that many countries are still not investing in the field of Small Launch Vehicles. Moreover, the uncertainty in the success rate of the space programs also becomes a restraining factor for the Small Launch Vehicle Markets.
The increasing demand from commercial, academic, military, and government end users for small satellite constellations is compelling SLV manufacturers to develop products with more advanced technologies. In addition, a significant increase in investment by leading companies and large space organizations to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities for providing affordable launch services is anticipated to drive market growth during the forecast period. The increasing number of satellite constellations for applications such as communication, technology development, Earth observation, and remote sensing is anticipated to be the primary factor propelling the growth of the SLV market.
During the period between 2022 and 2030, the global market for small launch vehicles is anticipated to be dominated by solid propulsion technology. This is a result of the high demand for solid propellant rockets, which are much simpler to store and handle during launch.
In payload range segment, the market is segmented into <20kg, 21kg-150kg, 151kg-500kg, 501kg-1,200kg, and 1,200kg-2,200kg. Here the satellite mass market segment is a prominent one. The 501-2,200 kg satellite mass segment holds the largest market share and is anticipated to grow in the coming years due to the increase in the number of small satellite constellations produced by SpaceX, Amazon, Cloud Constellation, Urthecast, and ISRO, among other leading companies.
Over the forecast period, it is anticipated that the commercial end-user will experience tremendous growth. Due to the growing demand for commercial applications such as remote sensing, Earth observation and navigation, surveillance, and satellite internet, it will hold a substantial market share in 2021. This segment's most important project is the satellite internet constellation.
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The Asia-Pacific region's contribution to the global market for small launch vehicles held the largest share in 2021. By the end of 2030, it is anticipated that the region will control a sizeable portion of the global market. Due to the presence of key market players such as China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and Galactic Energy (Beijing) Space Technology Co., LTD., the Chinese market is responsible for the majority of market growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Each year, CASC and Galactic were responsible for more than thirty successful SLV launches.