The global space propulsion systems market size was valued at USD 8.1 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 19.6 billion by 2031, registering a CAGR of 11.7% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
The developments in propulsion technology, increased demand for satellite deployment, growing interest in space exploration, and government funding in space programs are expected to stimulate market growth. The methods and mechanisms used to generate thrust to propel spacecraft, satellites, and other vehicles across outer space are referred to as space propulsion systems. These systems are critical for spacecraft to maneuver, alter orbits, and reach distant destinations inside our solar system and beyond by overcoming the vacuum of space and the lack of atmospheric resistance. To generate the necessary force for movement in the space environment, space propulsion systems employ a variety of principles, including mass expulsion, ion acceleration, nuclear processes, and other novel approaches.
Space propulsion systems market share is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% because of developments in propulsion technology, increased demand for satellite deployment, growing interest in space exploration, and government funding in space programs. Furthermore, the commercialization of space activities and the rise of new participants in the space sector are driving this growth.
|Market Size||USD 19.6 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Asia Pacific|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Various governments worldwide are investing in space programs to improve national security, scientific research, and technological breakthroughs. These investments frequently include funds for the research and development of innovative propulsion technology. NASA's Artemis program is a great example of a government-funded space mission focusing on space exploration and has substantial consequences for the Market for space propulsion systems. The Artemis program seeks to land "the first woman and the next man" on the Moon by the mid-2020s and establish a long-term human presence there. According to a study, NASA's Artemis moon rocket will cost USD 6 billion more than expected. The rocket and engine for the Space Launch System are now expected to cost at least USD 13.1 billion over 25 years. NASA will also receive USD 25.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2023. This is approximately USD 1.3 billion more than NASA received in 2022, representing a 5.6% increase.
Furthermore, India's space sector budget has increased 123% in ten years, from Rs 5,615 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 12,543 crore. Isro's launch rate has also increased, from 1.2 yearly launch operations before 2014 to an outstanding 5.7 satellites after 2014. The Government also placed a premium on developing future space innovators, as Isro's total number of student satellite launches increased from four before 2014 to eleven since 2014. As a result, the Space propulsion systems Market is predicted to increase.
Space propulsion systems are frequently based on cutting-edge technology that is difficult to design, test, and execute. Overcoming technical issues, such as guaranteeing reliability, efficiency, and safety, can take time and resources. Ion propulsion systems are an excellent example of advanced technology in space propulsion, highlighting some of the technical hurdles encountered throughout development. Ion propulsion systems create thrust by ionizing propellant and accelerating ions. It is a technical challenge to design efficient power generation and management systems that will supply a continuous source of electricity for extended missions. The Dawn spacecraft, launched by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2007, used ion propulsion to explore two protoplanets, Vesta and Ceres. This mission gathered important information about the capabilities and challenges of ion propulsion in deep space exploration.
In terms of specific impulse (a measure of propulsion efficiency), ion propulsion systems have demonstrated significant efficiency advantages over chemical propulsion. Ion propulsion, for example, may reach specific impulses of 1,500 to 3,500 seconds, as opposed to the average 300 to 500 seconds for chemical propulsion. While ion propulsion is extremely efficient, the modest thrust accelerates slowly. Despite its ion propulsion technology, the Dawn spacecraft took several years to reach its target, showing the trade-off between efficiency and mission duration. These factors are expected to hamper the Space Propulsion Systems Market growth.
CubeSats, small and inexpensive satellites, have grown in popularity for various uses such as Earth observation, communication, scientific study, and technological demonstration. One noteworthy trend is the deployment of CubeSat constellations, in which numerous CubeSats collaborate to fulfill specified goals. CubeSats are used for various objectives by organizations ranging from academia to commercial businesses. Planet Labs, for example, operates a vast network of Earth observation CubeSats for continuous globe photography.
CubeSat constellations are employed for Internet of Things (IoT) connection, remote sensing, and climate monitoring. Each application may necessitate a distinct propulsion solution to improve mission performance. In 2022, there were 2,304 small satellites launched globally, a 32.2 percent increase over the previous year. According to the source, a small satellite is one with a low mass and size, usually less than 600 kg. The space propulsion systems market trend toward small satellites can bring enormous opportunities.
North America's space propulsion systems industry size is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 11.1% during the forecast period. North America retained the biggest geographic market share in 2022, owing to the United States' intensive space exploration and development activity. The present space exploration missions carried out by NASA, as well as the expanding satellite launches by the U.S. Department of Defense, are driving the expansion of the space propulsion systems market in the United States. In 2021, the United States SpaceX fired 31 rockets for satellite launches as well as general testing. NASA is investing in start-ups to create better propulsion systems for tiny spacecraft. As part of this plan, NASA will invest USD 105 million in extra funding to provide to smaller-scale space technology firms in May 2021, expanding future potential for space propulsion systems.
Additionally, NASA is also working on the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) project to increase the length and capability of new exploration and science missions. Canada, on the other hand, has been making strides in space exploration and investment. SpaceRyde will officially open Canada's first orbital-class rocket manufacturing in June 2022. The 25,000-square-foot facility is anticipated to research, develop, and manufacture rockets for the country's future. Due to various investments and technical advances, North America will likely dominate the Market throughout the forecast period. Furthermore, important companies such as Northrop Grumman Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., the Boeing Company, and others are driving regional market growth.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 11.9% over the forecast period. Asia-Pacific will see significant market expansion during the projection period. Increasing Chinese, Indian, and Japanese space budgets, expanding satellite launches for commercial, governmental, and defense applications, and high demand for satellites across the Asia-Pacific fuel market growth. South Korea, Japan, China, and India are driving market expansion through increased space expenditure and expanding military satellite programs. China's Government has made significant investments in its space program.
For instance, China's space budget is expected to exceed USD 8 billion in 2021, showing a strong financial commitment to space technology development. China has been working on sophisticated propulsion technologies, such as ion propulsion systems, to improve the efficiency of deep space missions. Since the highly fragmented space propulsion system, market participants are quite interested. For numerous tenders in Asia-Pacific, key market companies are opting to grow their market share globally.
Europe has a well-established space sector supported by numerous governments and organizations, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and private companies. The region has a track record of developing innovative propulsion systems for various space missions. The Space propulsion systems market insights expect that the European Market may expand tremendously. Because of manufacturers such as Thales Alenia Space, Safran S.A., Blue Origin LLC., Ariane Group GmbH, Cobham Mission Systems Wimborne Ltd., and others, the Market in Europe is expected to grow at a moderate rate. These firms are driving the Market's expansion in Europe.
The platform further segments the Market into Satellites (Small, Medium, and Large), Launch Vehicles, Rovers/Landers, Capsules/Cargo, Interplanetary Spacecraft, and Probes.
Satellites influenced the market growth. Satellites are celestial bodies that orbit celestial bodies such as planets or moons. Satellites are artificial satellites placed in orbit around Earth or other celestial bodies in the space propulsion systems business context. They provide various functions, including communication, Earth observation, scientific research, navigation, and space exploration. Launch vehicles, sometimes known as rockets, are vehicles used to send payloads into space from the Earth's surface. They are outfitted with propulsion systems that create enough push to overcome Earth's gravitational pull and transport satellites, cargoes, or spacecraft to their desired orbits or paths.
Based on propulsion type, the Market is classified into Chemical, electric, solar, nuclear, and other.
Electric propulsion contributes the largest market share. Electric propulsion systems use high-velocity electric or electromagnetic forces to accelerate and expel propellant, resulting in high exhaust speeds and fuel economy. These methods are extremely efficient but provide less thrust than chemical propulsion. Chemical propulsion uses chemical processes to generate high-speed exhaust gases that provide thrust. This propulsion technology is widely utilized in launch vehicles, satellite orbital maneuvers, and spacecraft propulsion systems.
Based on components, the Market is divided into Thrusters, Electric Propulsion Thrusters, Nozzles, Rocket Motors, and Others.
Electric Propulsion Thrusters led the Market. Electric propulsion thrusters use electric or electromagnetic forces to accelerate and generate thrust. These thrusters are well-known for their great efficiency and are frequently employed for far space missions where high exhaust velocity outweighs the necessity for considerable thrust. Rocket motors are the primary engines that produce thrust in chemical propulsion systems. They use controlled propellant combustion to generate high-speed exhaust gases that provide the necessary force for launch vehicles, spacecraft, and other vehicles to overcome gravity and achieve targeted velocities.
End-users can further bifurcate the segment into commercial, Government, and defense.
Government and defense are the main end-users in the Market. Government space agencies and defense entities are included in this category. Space exploration, scientific research, and national space projects are the responsibility of government space agencies. Defense agencies may use space propulsion systems for reconnaissance, communication, surveillance, navigation, and strategic purposes. They may also be involved in tasks of national security and intelligence collection. The commercial sector encompasses private enterprises and organizations that provide space-related products and services. This includes satellite communication, Earth observation, space tourism, satellite navigation, satellite internet, and other operations. Commercial entities can use propulsion systems to launch their satellites, maintain satellite constellations, or provide services to other sectors.