In-orbit servicing market opportunity exceeds US$3 billion - report

(04 Feb 2018) NSR's industry-first In-Orbit Servicing Markets (IoSM) report finds the nascent in-orbit servicing market poised for growth, and forecasts a total market of over US$3 billion in the next 10 years. Life extension services drive most of this revenue, as many in-orbit service providers plan to enter the market in the next five years servicing commercial and government customers with additional solutions to fleet management.

"In-orbit servicing is an entirely new market, ripe for growth, providing the satellite industry with an attractive value proposition in an environment of falling capacity prices, rapid technology changes, and uncertainty in CAPEX," noted Carolyn Belle, NSR Senior Analyst and report co-author. Affordability has long been a major barrier for IoS players, but as the technology advances, the business case evolves.

Until a few initial in-orbit demonstrations prove the technology works as a system, there will be a reasonable level of apprehension amongst stakeholders. But the potential of In-Orbit Servicing is vast and varied: from life extension, de-orbiting, and salvage operations that lead early revenue opportunities, to satellite repair and alteration on the mid-term roadmap, while diverse emerging applications support is a long-term objective.

"In-Orbit Servicing (IoS) is seen as an additional tool in the operator's array of options for fleet management, and operators are more eager than ever before to use it to optimise their investments in space assets," explained Shagun Sachdeva, NSR Analyst and report co-author. She added: "After years of demonstration and tests, recent contracts and upcoming missions show signs of a solidifying business case for IOS."

Still, the future success of the industry has obstacles to overcome and will also depend on government support and legal and regulatory requirements coming together to facilitate market growth.

Reference: NSR PR