The Market for a UK Launcher

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V. Zakirov et al. (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.399-405

Refcode: 2018.71.399
Keywords: Spacecraft, Launcher, Market

After five decades since the launch of Black Arrow, the UK government resurrects the national launcher programme. Selection of the new national commercial launcher is the next critical milestone. While the future UK launcher specs from UK spaceports are still vague, Commercial Space Technologies (CST) Limited continually forecasts its general prospects. The forecast is based on data obtained from SpaceTrak database by Seradata Limited. To ensure commercial success, the new UK launcher must secure a significant share of the commercial launch market. CST's forecast defines the launch market of customers willing to launch their spacecraft (limited to 225 kg by mass) commercially from the UK vertical launch site to Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) and Polar Orbits (PO) during 2020-2030. It is assumed that the UK launcher has to compete with other small launchers for the market. It is demonstrated that success rests on the implementation of a smart launch pricing strategy and a timely entry to the market. The pricing strategy winning the UK launcher from 32% to 61% of the small launcher market is presented and the assessments for the UK launcher sales are given. The key outcome is compared to the earlier UK government, Euroconsult and other forecasts and found to be less a optimistic one. The discrepancy among the CST's and the other forecast numbers is explained. Further enhancements in the forecast's accuracy are possible once the UK launcher and spaceport specs are determined.

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