The global space-qualified propellant tank market size was valued at USD 1.95 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3.03 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 5.02% from 2022 to 2030.
Satellites and launch vehicles have special containers called propellant tanks that are used to store liquid fuels. In addition, a cryogenic rocket propellant tank, also known as a cryo-tank, is utilised for the storage of fuel or oxidizer for the rocket stages. For the next space, heavy-lift launch vehicles to achieve the planned performance of the existing metallic tanks, significantly excessive propellant mass fractions are going to be required. Companies are responding to this demand by developing lightweight propellant tanks.
Between the years 1957 and 2021, numerous governments and commercial organisations, including Infinite Composite Technologies, Ariane Space, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Europe Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), began testing new propellant tanks for a variety of satellites and launch vehicles. Since that time, technological advances have steadily been made, which has resulted in the development of numerous one-of-a-kind goods and systems across the whole space sector. At the moment, numerous government space agencies and private corporations all over the world are concentrating their efforts on the development of satellite constellations. It is anticipated that this will be the primary factor driving demand for the propellant tank system.
In recent years, there has been a notable increase in both the manufacture and launch of satellites, which is anticipated to be the primary driver that will drive the market.
In addition, a key driver for the expansion of the global market for space-qualified propellant tanks is the growing demand for cost-effective and efficient methods of constructing propellant tanks.
Both already-developed nations and those in the process of being established are stepping up their research and development activities in connection with the space-qualified propellant tank. This pattern is seen in both industrialised and developing countries at the same time. It is projected that these kinds of research and development endeavours will help in the creation of propellant tanks for satellites that are efficient in terms of cost, and this is anticipated to drive market expansion during the forecast period.
Because of the high cost of producing a big propellant tank that is space-qualified, the market is experiencing difficulties in nations that are still in the process of emerging from poverty, such as those in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
However, the government has just taken the initiative, which will result in an improvement of the situation during the anticipated time period.
Prosthetic muscle systems, robotic sensors, diamond-joint coatings, and temper foam are just a few examples of the innovations that were first created for space vehicles but have now been adapted to make artificial human limbs more practical, durable, pleasant, and life-like.
In addition, the Artemis programme at NASA seeks to place a second man and the first woman on the moon by the year 2024, and finally build space travel that is economically viable by the year 2028. NASA's end objective is to set foot on the surface of Mars, and the Artemis programme serves as a stepping stone on the way there.
These kinds of developments are offering the potential for the expansion of the market for space-qualified propellant tanks during the time period that is being forecasted.
The global space-qualified propellant tank market is segmented by platform, material, manufacturing process, propellant tank type, end-user, and region.
It is anticipated that the satellite platform sector would hold the largest share of the global market for space-qualified propellant tanks as a result of the growing number of satellite constellations being developed for the purposes of communication, Earth observation, navigation, and tracking.
It is anticipated that the commercial end-user segment will have the largest share of the global market for space-qualified propellant tanks due to the increasing development of small satellite constellations by commercial industries for the purposes of communication, and remote sensing, earth observation, and navigation.
The market for space-qualified propellant tanks is dominated by carbon fibre, which is the most important type of material used in the production of propellant tanks. The aerospace industry has been fabricating satellite structures and launch vehicle structures out of carbon fibre composites for quite some time now.
For instance, the automated fibre placement (AFP) machine was used to fabricate rocket elements for the Artemis Program Space Launch System (SLS), which is a heavy launch vehicle. These sandwich structures had a diameter of more than eight metres and were built of carbon-fibre skins with an aluminium honeycomb core. The rocket elements themselves were made of carbon fibre.
Compression-moulded composite parts will see a significant increase in demand from the space industry in the foreseeable future. The manufacture of complicated composite parts for aerostructures, space, and satellites can be enabled through a process called compression moulding that uses BMC.
It is projected that the need for diaphragm tanks would increase in the coming years as a result of the growing number of space-qualified propellant tanks. Because the tanks are not only lightweight but also reliable and can be produced at a cheap cost, their utilisation in the aerospace industry has increased significantly over the course of recent history.
Titanium propellant tanks, which were formerly utilised for spacecraft applications due to their inexpensive cost and straightforward construction, are being phased out in favour of the new tanks.
The space-qualified propellant tank market is split by region into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
It is anticipated that North America will hold the largest share of the global market for space-qualified propellant tanks. This is attributable to the large number of companies that are based in the region as well as the increased spending by commercial and government organisations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Lockheed Martin, Ariane Group, Northrop Grumman, Microcosm, and Stelia Aerospace North America for the space-qualified propellant tank.
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