Space Traffic Management Market projected to reach $22.4 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2021 to 2030

The space traffic management can be identified as methodologies, systems, and rules to perform operations in outer space with utmost safety, security, and sustainability. Since the inception of space era in 1958, approximately 6,000 launched have been made placing nearly 12,000 satellites in orbit. Among those 12,000 satellites, 4852 satellites are active as of 2022. The rest serve as space debris and continue to serve in orbit around earth. More than 20,000 satellites are accounted to be launched from 2021 to 2030, making space a highly congested area. Apart from the dead satellites, rise in number of small and micro-level particles serving as space debris is also threating space operations. More than 1 million space debris between 1cm and 10cm are identified orbiting around earth, and the count is constantly increasing. Increasing congestion in space due to rising number of operational satellites and launch forecast, threat of collision course, overlapping orbits, and debris collision has generated demand for effective space traffic management systems.

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Companies covered in this report study:

  • Lockheed Martin
  • Thales Group
  • L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
  • Boeing Company
  • Airbus Group
  • BAE Systems plc
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon Technologies
  • Saab AB
  • Kayhan Space

Factors such as space-based connectivity for communication industry, satellite life vehicle extension programs, and internal co-operation between nations to agree on data sharing polices are some of the primary drivers supporting the business opportunities over coming years. Initiatives taken by several regulatory bodies such as European Commission, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and other U.S. federal departments to increase transparency about space operations across nations considering outer space a limited resource will promote orientation of space traffic management system. The companies such as Lockheed Martin, L3Harris, and Airbus have started offering innovative solution to address the rising threat of space debris and cater the consumer demand for effective space operations. Reduced launch cost due to introduction of re-usable rockets, adoption of smallsats and cubesats, and increase in R&D activities such as geo mapping or establishing a temporary communication network on personal and educational level has generated the demand for end to end space operations service that provide supporting business opportunities.

The global space traffic management market is segmented into application, end use, orbit, activity, and region. By application, the market is categorized into communication, earth observation, navigation, global positioning system (GPS) & surveillance, technology development & education, and others. The other segment encompass several applications such as space science, maritime tracking, and other personal space-based operations. Depending on end use, the space traffic management market is fragmented into civil & government, commercial and military. The orbit segment will include low earth orbit (LEO), medium earth orbit (MEO) & elliptical orbit, and geostationary orbit (GEO). The activity segment is segregated into space situational awareness, space debris remediation, space orbit management, and launch vehicle operations. By region, the market is analyzed across North, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Key Market Segments

  • By Application
    • Communication
    • Earth Observation
    • Navigation, Global Positioning System, and Surveillance
    • Technology Development and Education
    • Others
  • By End Use
    • Civil and Government
    • Commercial
    • Military
  • By Orbit
    • LEO
    • MEO and Elliptical
    • GEO
  • By Activity
    • Space Situational Awareness
    • Space Debris Remediation
    • Space Orbit Management
    • Launch Vehicle Operations
  • By Region
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
      • Mexico
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • France
      • Italy
      • Spain
      • Russia
      • United Kingdom
      • Rest of Europe

The average operational life of a satellite in space is around 15 years. Several situations such as damaged components, exhaustion of onboard propellants, minor issues with the propellant system or computer system, and misalignment from the designated orbit can cause the satellite to stop its operations. Exhaustion onboard propellants is one of the primary reasons, satellites are considered to have a limited lifespan of 15 years. The number of satellites currently orbiting earth (dead and operational) is significantly high. Launching new satellites every 15 years adds up to the operational cost of companies and increases the number of dead satellites orbiting the earth, creating more space debris and reducing the chances of safe operations.

Rise in space debris and the possibility of satellite collision or near miss due to overlapping orbits are among the key concerns of new space. Since the inception of the space age in 1958, there were approximately 630 explosions, breakups, collisions, or anomalous events generating several small fragments. Apart from 1million small fragments that are between 1cm and 10cm, there is 36,500 space debris that is greater than 10cm, whereas 130 million space debris that is between 1mm and 1cm. More than 90% of space debris is in lower earth orbit. The average speed of this debris is calculated to be 6 miles per second, capable of punching a hole in satellites if their orbits overlap. In May 2021, a tiny piece of space junk collided with the International Space Station (ISS), resulting in a 5mm hole in the Canadian-built robot arm.

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