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The global reusable launch vehicle market size was USD 1.39 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 1.83 billion in 2022 to USD 3.68 billion in 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.51% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 impact has been unprecedented and staggering, with reusable launch vehicle experiencing a moderate demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis the global market exhibited a decline of -26.4% in 2020 compared to 2019.
A Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) is a space launch system that allows partial or full recovery stages of the rocket after delivering a satellite into orbit. The fundamental goal of an RLV is to reduce the cost associated with the launch of satellites by effectively recovering expended essential systems and components of RLV. The growth is due to rising deployment of small satellites for commercial and military applications.
The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a U.S.-based company is emphasizing the development of RLVs to deploy earth navigation, observation, and communication satellites. On the other hand, Blue Origin LLC is expected to commercialize its rockets by the end of 2022. The company is involved in the designing and development of heavy-lift RLVs with three-stage and two-stage reusable launch vehicle systems.
COVID-19 Pandemic Led to Delay and Cancellation of Satellite Launch Programs
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the situation of the industry. The global pandemic’s impact has struck every player involved in the market. The pandemic has largely affected the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) due to disruption in the supply chain and the financial market.
Moreover, COVID-19 inflicted a severe impact on the satellite industry and led to suspension or delay of the satellite launches. Major companies involved in the market such as SpaceX, ISRO, and other space agencies have redeveloped production and delivery functionalities of launch vehicles and satellites. The companies are implementing safety norms for the protection of their workforce from COVID-19.
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Rising Adoption of High Density and High Specific Liquid Propellant is a Critical Trend
Propulsion technology is integral in spaceships, rockets, and other space vehicles to optimize the process, more fuel-efficient, and secure launch. Furthermore, due to its high density and specific impulse, a liquid propellant is often used in rockets. Liquid hydrogen fuel is widely employed for rocket propulsion by American space programs and other countries, according to NASA. The industry's success would be aided by leading market players' active investments in R&D and quick advancements in space propulsion.
Similarly, liquid propellant rockets provide several advantages over solid propellant rockets. For example, the thrust can be throttled, the system can be restarted as often as needed, and the propellant flow can be monitored and managed to accurately control the size of the thrust.
Surging Space Programs to Uptick the Market Growth
Space exploration programs have contracted immense attention, and foremost nations have dominated the global industry by showcasing their interstellar capabilities. Moreover, the increasing space and R&D programs have bolstered the global spacecraft industry’s expansion. In December 2020, AgniKul Cosmos Private Limited, based in Chennai, became the first space start-up to clinch a deal with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to use the space agency's knowledge and facilities to develop its rocket. The company is set to launch India’s first fully 3D printed cryogenic rocket engine by 2022.
Furthermore, rising partnerships among international space institutions for the integration of investment and technology augment the market for space missions, thereby surging the product demand. Therefore, rising space exploration missions can be attributed to increased government expenditure and space budget.
Increasing Government Investments to Propel the Market Growth
Government investment, usually in research and technology developments and start-ups, has been considered a way to address social impacts and also limit imports, with the goal to become a global provider of solutions in the aerospace sector. Many governments also acknowledge that their venture sectors are not as developed as those in the U.S, and thus, give Venture Capital (VC) funds.
In addition, the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced an investment of roughly USD 33 million in the Hall Effect Thruster (HET) propulsion technology and startup incubators program.
Increase in Carbon Emissions Due to Space Launch to Hamper the Reusable Launch Vehicle Market Growth
Space launches leave a significant carbon footprint due to the burning of solid rocket fuel. When a rocket or a space vehicle is launched, it creates a cloud of exhaust in its path, which pollutes the environment. These exhausts contain components that can accumulate in the air over time, potentially causing harmful changes to the atmosphere. In the aftermath of rocket launches, little bits of soot and a substance called alumina is produced. These compounds may accumulate in the stratosphere over time, slowly depleting an oxygen layer known as the ozone layer. Due to the increased number of space missions, hazardous gas emissions are predicted to rise as well.
Partially Reusable Segment to Grow at a Faster Rate during the Projection Period
By type, the market is bifurcated into partially reusable launch vehicle and fully reusable launch vehicle. The partially reusable segment registered for the highest market share due to the increasing demand for the partially reusable vehicle launch having high strength to weight ratio with immense payload carrying capabilities, which is used for most of the satellite vehicle applications. The fully reusable segment is anticipated to be the second fastest-developing segment during the forecasted period due to the increasing demand and development of completely satellite reusable launch vehicles by key players such as Blue Origin LLC and SpaceX.
Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to hold the Dominance in in 2021
The market is bifurcated into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) (GTO). The LEO segment held the largest market share owing to increasing deployment of small satellites and earth observation satellites in orbit, the LEO sector held the dominance share market in 2021, with 62.33%. The segment is also expected to be a quickly developing segment during the forecast period. In the next five years, SpaceX Starlink plans to deploy 12,000 broadband satellites into LEO.
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Upto 6,000 Lbs Segment Dominated the Market in 2021 Owing to Rising Demand for Small Satellites for Communication Purposes
Based on vehicle weight, this market is segmented into upto 6,000 lbs, 6,000 to 10,000 lbs, and over 10,000 lbs segments. The upto 6,000 lbs segment held a bigger market share owing to the increasing number of small satellites in the LEO. Small satellites are deployed as navigation satellites (GPS), telecommunication satellites, and earth observation satellites in low earth orbit. The 6,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs segment is anticipated to be a fastest growing segment owing to the rising demand for satellite and space exploration activities and mounting investments by private and government space agencies.
North America Reusable Launch Vehicle Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The global reusable launch vehicle market is divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Rest of the World.
North America is expected to dominate this market with a valuation of USD 0.66 billion in 2021. The development is attributed to the government’s budget allotment for space exploration activities and a surge in several space missions. Further, in the fiscal year of 2021, the U.S. allocated NASA approximately USD 23 million for several space missions and exploration activities. In addition, the key market players’ presence such as Ball Corporation (U.S.), Blue Origin (U.S.), Busek Co. Inc. (U.S.), United Launch Alliance (U.S.), Masten Space Systems (U.S.), and SpaceX (U.S.) drives the market growth.
Asia Pacific is projected to exhibit significant development during the forecast period attributed to the growing demand for space exploration & launch capabilities, the growing economy, and significant increase in space programs announced by China, India, South Korea, and others. ISRO, for example, has been developing and testing key technologies via technology demonstrations such as Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV TD). The RLV TD is a hybrid vehicle that stacks airplane and launch vehicle technology on top of each other to obtain a Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) capability.
Europe is expected to register significant growth in the market during 2022-2029. The growth in the region is owing to the surge in demand for advancements in technology and increase in agreements by the ESA. Moreover, to develop the world’s first iodine electric propulsion system, the ESA awarded a contract in October 2020. Such critical developments escalate the market expansion in the region.
In the Rest of the World, this market will witness moderate growth due to the government expenditure and demand for advancement in space technology. Moreover, demand for satellite networks and services has increased for both commercial and defense uses. As a result, there has been an increase in satellite launches for military surveillance, communication, navigation, earth observation, and scientific research, resulting in a parallel need for reusable satellite launch vehicles to reduce market launch costs.
Key Players to Focus on Manufacturing Cost-effective & Reusable Launch Vehicle Systems
Key players involved in the market are focusing on designing and developing advanced, pocket friendly, and reusable launch vehicles. The OEMs in the market are eyeing to develop the most advanced hardware and software programs to make this process easier. In addition, companies are constantly aiming to develop strong relationships with leading firms in developed and developing nations.
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The global reusable launch vehicle market research report provides a detailed market analysis. It focuses on key factors such as leading companies, types, and applications. Apart from this, it provides information about market trends and highlights important sector developments. In addition, it covers key factors that have contributed to market growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Orbit Type
By Vehicle Weight
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1.39 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3.68 billion by 2029.
Registering a CAGR of 10.51%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The fully reusable launch vehicle segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), United Launch Alliance (ULA), and Blue Origin, LLC are the major players in the market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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