Western airlines will face increased demand for their services due to sanctions against Russia

US airlines such as SpaceX, Astra Space and Rocket Lab are facing the difficult task of putting hundreds of satellites into orbit in the coming years. According to some experts, Western sanctions will prevent Russia from conducting commercial launches, which will make it difficult for US companies to cope with the increased workload.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch / Image source: Joe Skipper / Reuters

According to the launch service’s aggregator Precious Payload, more than 800 artificial vehicles weighing less than 100 kg will be launched into orbit this year alone, almost twice as many satellites delivered to space in 2021. Experts are convinced that the number of satellites launched annually will continue to grow at a rapid pace.

In the current situation, SpaceX, Astra Space and Rocket Lab must increase rapidly to keep pace with the demand for satellite launch services. However, the projects of a number of companies, including SpaceX and Amazon, in which they plan to create huge satellite constellations to provide communication services, can disrupt this. To carry out projects to build networks that cover the entire surface of the earth, it is planned to put tens of thousands of vehicles into orbit, so services for the delivery of satellites to space will be in high demand for a long time to come.

    Image source: Reuters

Image source: Reuters

SpaceX and OneWeb accounted for about three-quarters of the total number of satellites launched into space in 2021, according to analytics firm BryceTech. At the same time, Russia’s share of the world market for the provision of launch services over the past five years was 16%. The source notes that in fact Russia’s share is larger, as Soyuz rockets were also used in the framework of the Russian-French Starsem project, the implementation of which is currently suspended, during the specified time period.

According to Quilty Analytics, almost two-thirds of the Soyuz rocket launches were commercial or to support the operation of the International Space Station, while the rest were for domestic customers. If Western sanctions prevent Russia from continuing to provide commercial launch services, US and European companies will need to increase rapidly to meet demand. However, this can be very difficult given the complexity of creating new missiles.

    Image source: Reuters

Image source: Reuters

Difficulties in launching satellites can turn into serious problems for companies. In fact, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may revoke permits for launches if they are not implemented within the deadlines originally set. It is also known that the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, intends to abandon the use of Russian engines and replace them with Blue Origin products. This is unlikely to be done quickly, so companies have a long way to go.

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