There may be some doom and gloom about the depressed state of consumer demand on aircraft and other COVID-affected businesses, but an analysis of the overall space industry by Bryce on behalf of the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) paints a rosy picture for last year.
Bryce says that Satellite-based services, representing some 45 percent of the total, was worth some $123 billion last year. Satellite manufacturing (military as well as commercial) was worth $12.5 billion, while the launch sector was worth $4.9 billion last year. The balance was made up (48 percent) by ground equipment.
Sub-divide the assorted satellite services businesses and it is no surprise that TV broadcasting (DTH as well as Occasional Use and news feeds) took the lion’s share of the $123 billion in overall value at some $92 billion.
Radio was worth $6.2 billion while newcomer broadband – and expected to grow significantly – was worth $2.8 billion. The other segments incorporated Fixed ($17.7 billion), Mobile ($2 billion) and Remote sensing ($2.3 billion).
Last year’s launch industry was worth some $4.9 billion, and made up of US-sourced launch vehicles ($1.7 billion, or 35 per cent) and $3.2 billion of non-US launch activity.
Also of note… Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch business headed by Sir Richard Branson, has reportedly hired a couple of investment banks. Normally this suggests the company is looking for strategic investors or perhaps even a sale or merger.
According to Space Intel Report (SIR), the Branson company has hired Lion Tree Advisors as well as Perella Weinberg Partners. Virgin Orbit, on its website, is inviting potential investors to examine company data which summarizes its current position as well as future prospects.
Virgin Orbit, in a statement, said the move is to help assess third-party interest in investment with the company.
Virgin Orbit explained that a recent test flight, as well as a planned 2nd flight (which will carry a NASA payload) resulted in growing commercial interest in the company and helped by fresh investment from players such as Abu Dhabi’s investment business Mubadala.
Virgin Orbit is designed to launch smallsats into LEO with their launch system comprised of a converted Boeing 747 ‘Jumbo’ jet, which carries a launch rocket and its cargo suspended under one of its wings.
The firm’s ‘sister’ company, Virgin Galactic, is designed to carry passengers into sub-orbital flight. In July 2019, in a reverse take-over, it sold 49 per ent of itself to Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia company for $1.3 billion.
News stories authored by journalist Chris Forrester,
who posts for the Advanced Television infosite and is also a
Senior Contributor for Satnews Publishers.