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Number of satellites launched by year 1957-2019

In 2019, there were a total of 95 satellites launched, a decrease from the 114 satellites launched in 2018.

The satellite industry

Humans were and still are fascinated by distant objects beyond their reach. This curiosity led to the space observations and subsequently to space explorations. Started in the 1950s, the satellite industry grew at a rapid rate and by 2019 over 2,500 active satellites were orbiting the Earth. Despite extreme costly investments with no certainty of profitable returns, the satellite industry got developed at first because of political competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the cold war. As a result of this political competition, highly lucrative satellite market emerged offering far-reaching business opportunities including digitalization. The development of the internet and digitalization formed some of the most attractive investment prospects in the satellite industry. From the beginning of 2000s, the revenue of the global satellite industry increased exponentially, generating roughly 277 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. As a subset of the global satellite industry, the revenue of satellite navigation equipment industry more than tripled from 2008 to 2018.

Outlook of the satellite industry

Digitalization impacts our daily life at a rapid rate, thus, creating a higher need for the expansion of high-throughput satellite market. In 2017, the estimated size of the high-throughput satellite market was roughly three billion U.S. dollars. Yet the market size is expected to grow exponentially in less than six years, reaching over 15 billion U.S. dollars by 2023. Besides large-scale satellite operations, there are also relatively small satellites launched for various purposes. Applications such as remote sensing, communication and navigation are some of the drivers of the commercial small satellite industry. Between 2018 and 2030, small satellite launches worldwide will increase exponentially in all application sectors, including defense, government, academic and commercial. In comparison, the commercial small satellite sector is projected to become the largest and fastest-growing segment in that market.

Number of satellites launched from 1957 to 2019

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Survey time period

1957 to 2019

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Statistics on "Space industry worldwide"

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