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SpaceWorks Releases Nano- & Microsat Market Forecast

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 1, 2017
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ATLANTA, February 1, 2017 (SpasceWorks PR) – SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) announced today the annual update to its nanosatellite and microsatellite market forecast. The report details the latest observations and trends in the nano/microsatellite market.

Projections indicate more than 450 nano/micro satellites will need launches annually in the year 2023 and beyond. The summary is available in presentation form as a free download on the website,

SpaceWorks is currently tracking 803 future (2017 – 2019) nano/microsatellites with masses between 1 kilogram and 50 kilograms in various stages of planning or development. Historical launches and publicly announced plans for future launches, as well as estimated market growth serve as a basis for projection of the quantity of nano/microsatellites that will launch between 2017 and 2023. Data concerning future launches is sourced from the public announcements of small satellite operators, launch vehicle providers, government agencies, and other organizations, as well as additional market research and commercial companies’ intentions.

Compared with previous reports, the current projections show lower, but still considerable growth in the nano/microsatellite market, with an estimated range of 320 to 460 nano/microsatellites (1-50 kg) that will need launches globally in 2023 (versus 101 actual launched satellites in 2016). The 2017 Nano/Microsatellite Market Forecast by SpaceWorks shows that nano/microsatellite launches have grown by an average of 40% per year since 2011, with an expected 10% growth per year over the next 6 years (2017-2023). Analysis of development trends by sector show that the commercial sector continues to grow significantly and will soon account for the majority of spacecraft launched in the nano/microsatellite market. Analysis of trends by purpose suggests that applications for Earth observation and remote sensing remain the primary misson for nano/microsatellites in the future.

“Even though launch delays continued to have a strong impact on the small satellite market in 2016, this year should set a new record for the number of nano/microsatellites launched with multiple large dedicated rideshare missions. In the future, however, concentration on relatively few launch vehicles increases uncertainty in the launch schedule for small satellite operators and limits near-term growth,” stated Mr. Bill Doncaster, SpaceWorks Senior Systems Engineer. “Introduction of a low cost dedicated small launch vehicle is necessary to ensure regular space access for small satellites. We hope our latest Nano/Microsatellite Market Assessment provides insight into the future and proves to be a valuable resource for the small satellite community.”

Since 2008, SpaceWorks has actively monitored global nano/microsatellite activities to provide its clients with valuable insight into this growing market. SpaceWorks internally maintains a broad Launch Demand Database (LDDB) to track all historical and future satellites and their characteristics. Detailed analyses and custom assessments of the satellite and launch vehicle markets are available to interested clients. Please contact Bill Doncaster with any questions.

News and information about SpaceWorks can be found at


One response to “SpaceWorks Releases Nano- & Microsat Market Forecast”

  1. Jeff Smith says:

    I like seeing this every year. It’s interesting to see how the rosy projections from the past few years have turned into a steep downturn. At this time, the successful smallsats have been those that translated the existing business model down to the cubesat size (read: REMOTE SENSING!).

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