Space propulsion systems are used to generate thrust in spacecraft, launch vehicles, capsules/cargos, and rovers/spacecraft landers for orbit insertion, station keeping, lifting launch vehicles into space, and attitude control, among others.
This report categories space propulsion based on propulsion type as chemical propulsion technologies such as solid, liquid, hybrid, and cold gas propulsion and non-chemical propulsion technologies such as electric, solar, nuclear, and laser propulsions. Based components used in space propulsion systems, this report studies thrusters, propellant feed systems, rocket motors, nozzles, reactors, propulsion thermal control, and power processing units (PPU). Also covers space propulsion market comprising chemical and non-chemical propulsions across government & military and commercial end users. Based on orbit, the report is categorized into low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO), geostationary or geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), and beyond geosynchronous orbit. Furthermore, by region, covers North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and Middle East &Africa.
The space propulsion market is projected to grow from USD 8.3 billion in 2021 to USD 22.5 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 22.1% from 2021 to 2026. Developed economies of North America and Europe are currently the leaders in the market, considering the strong presence of OEMs in these regions, while emerging economies, especially those from the Asia Pacific region, are projected to be the upcoming major markets for space propulsion systems. Conventionally, access to space has been extremely costly. But prices continue to fall with each passing decade as new technologies are created and the sector becomes more commercialized. SpaceX, for instance, has demonstrated the capability of reusable rockets. Other advances in the future may involve lighter materials, the use of inflatable modules, new fuel types, space planes, and/or more efficient engines
Agreements, collaborations, new product developments, contracts, expansion, acquisitions, and partnerships are among some of the key strategies adopted by the leading market players to strengthen and sustain their position in the space propulsion market. For example, In May 2021, Starship serial number 15 (SN15) successfully finished SpaceX’s fifth high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype from Starbase in Texas, US. The SN15 was powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee roughly 10 km in altitude. It performed a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and controlled aerodynamic descent
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Winners of space propulsion market are Safran (France), Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (US), SpaceX (US), IHI Corporation (Japan), and Northrop Grumman Corporation (US).
Safran is the leading player in the space propulsion market. It is an international high-technology group operating in the aircraft propulsion & equipment, space, and defense markets. The company operates through 12 subsidiaries and various joint ventures. Safran Aero Boosters, Safran Electronics & Defense, Safran Aircraft Engines, and ArianeGroup are its major subsidiaries providing critical components, such as shut off valves, propulsion valves, flow control valves, and pressurization system valves, for the various applications of rocket engines and other space missions. Safran has endlessly shaped the future of space entry over the last 4 decades by constructing propulsion systems that set the standard in price and performance for the successive versions of the Ariane launch vehicle: up to 10,700 kilos into GTO, orbiting at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers (about 22,500 miles).
AEROJET ROCKETDYNE HOLDINGS
Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. secures the second position in the space propulsion market. The company’s markets include space, where it provides a full range of propulsion and power systems for launch vehicles, satellites, and other space vehicles. The company operates through two business segments, namely, Aerospace & Defense and Real Estate. The company also develops and manufactures liquid and solid space propulsion, air-breathing hypersonic engines, and electric power and propulsion for space, defense, civil, and commercial applications for customers such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, and United Launch Alliance (ULA). In May 2020, Aerojet Rocketdyne was awarded a USD 1.79 billion contract by NASA for the modification and production of an additional 18 RS-25 engines to support future deep-space exploration missions.
IHI Corporation ranks third in the space propulsion market. The company’s flight-proven propulsion systems include hydrazine monopropellant propulsion systems, cold gas propulsion systems, and bipropellant (hydrazine/MON or MMH/MON) propulsion systems. The company operates through four business segments, namely, Resource, Energy and Environment; Social Infrastructure and Offshore Facility; Industrial System and General-Purpose Machinery; and Aero Engine, Space and Defense.IHI Aerospace, a subsidiary of IHI Corporation, meets its customers’ needs in spacecraft design, development, manufacturing, and operation by providing space propulsion products such as thrusters, tanks, and propulsion system integrations. In April 2020, IHI Corporation and SpaceWalker (Japan) entered into a transaction agreement through which IHI’s LNG reformed LOX (metal oxygen) engine will be installed on SpaceWalker’s sub-orbital space plane, which is scheduled for launch in 2022 for scientific experiments.
SpaceX secures the fourth position in the space propulsion market. The company offers space transportation services through its extremely capable launch vehicles and rocket engines. It aims to develop reusable launch vehicles, which will enable it to re-fly the most expensive parts of the rocket, thus driving down the cost of space access. The company has launch facilities at various locations in the US, such as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (Florida), Vandenberg Air Force Base (California), Kennedy Space Center (Florida), and Brownsville (Texas), which are used for various NASA space missions. In May 2021, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and space firm Dynetics received a contract worth USD 967 million from NASA to build lunar landing systems that can carry astronauts to the moon by 2024.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION
Northrop Grumman Corporation ranks fifth in the space propulsion market. The company, with a strong global presence, has put innovative products and ideas into orbit, on the moon, and beyond through various solutions, such as systems engineering, spacecraft manufacturing, precision sensors, space instruments design, ground station development, orbiting space platforms, and revolutionary launch vehicles. The company has a well-established international presence and maintains a network of offices and local business operations serving regions such as Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. The company offers mission-critical components such as rocket motors, launch vehicles, and booster subcomponents to support its prime customers, which mainly include US government agencies. In June 2020, Northrop Grumman Corporation received a USD 187 million contract from NASA to complete the preliminary design of a pressurized crew habitat for the planned Gateway mini-space station near the moon, and agency officials have discussed new details about plans to launch the first two Gateway modules on a single heavy-lift rocket
Space Propulsion Market by Type (Chemical Propulsion, Non-Chemical Propulsion), System Component (Thrusters, Propellant Feed System, Nozzle), Platform (Satellite, Launch Vehicle), Orbit, End User, Orbit, Support Service, Region - Global Forecast to 2026
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