Small Launchers in a Pandemic World - 2021 Edition of the Annual Industry Survey
Publish Date: 31-12-2021
Publish Frequency: annual
Source: Northrop Grumman
Author(s): Carlos Niederstrasser
Synopsis: Even with the challenges posed by the world-wide COVID pandemic, small vehicle "Launch Fever" has not abated. In 2015 we first presented this survey at the AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites1, and we identified twenty small launch vehicles under development. By mid-2021 ten vehicles in this class were operational, 48 were identified under development, and a staggering 43 more were potential new entrants. Some are spurred by renewed government investment in space, such as what we see in the U.K. Others are new commercial entries from unexpected markets such as China. All are inspired by the success of SpaceX and the desire to capitalize on the perceived demand caused by the mega constellations.
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