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Thu, Oct 11, 2018

NewSpace Ventures Propose Launching More Than 23,000 Satellites

Teal Group Releases Industry Forecast At Satellite Innovation Conference

NewSpace has been described as both a movement and a philosophy, based on the idea of commercializing space – both in Earth orbit and beyond, reports Teal Group.  "For me, it's simply private entrepreneurship finally arriving en masse and starting to take hold of an industry that has been way too complacent and conservative for decades," said Marco Cáceres, Teal Group's Senior Space Analyst and its Director of Space Studies, whose NewSpace forecast coincided here with the first exhibition day of Satellite Innovation 2018 Silicon Valley.

According to analytical forecasting firm Teal Group, NASA has long tried to fuel the commercialization of space, but it has had limited success because that's not what it was designed to do.  "But the space agency got it right when it decided to take a chance and invest in private space flight, by selecting SpaceX and Rocketplane-Kistler on August 18, 2006 to 'develop and demonstrate commercial orbital transportation services that could open new markets and pave the way for contracts to launch and deliver crew and cargo to the International Space Station,'" said Cáceres.

The decision to do so was made at a time when the Space Shuttle was in the process of being phased out and the US government did not have a ready replacement, reports the Teal Group.  "As it turned out, the decision paid off," said Cáceres.

Gauging the outlook for NewSpace, Teal reports that in recent years, there have emerged dozens of NewSpace satellite programs aiming to build, launch and operate thousands of new satellites by the start of the next decade.  Among the most high profile, ambitious and well-funded of these include SpaceX's Starlink, OneWeb's OneWeb, EarthNow's EarthNow.  These three constellations, alone, could account for nearly 15,000 satellites.  In all, more than 23,000 satellites have been proposed for launch over the next decade by NewSpace ventures. This represents almost three times the number of satellites launched worldwide since Russia's Sputnik 1 went up in 1957.

"It feels as if the industry and the market are on the verge of a major transformation and growth cycle," said Cáceres. "It feels a little like the mid-1990s, right before all those mobile LEOs starting going up. Of course, things didn't quite turn out as we expected back then, but I think this time is different."

(Source: Teal Group news release)

FMI: www.tealgroup.com

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