PASADENA, Calif. — A supplier base of hardware and service vendors sees opportunities for new business from the growing number of satellite and launch vehicle ventures, even if space remains a small part of their overall business.
Unlike many other space conferences, the exhibit hall of the Space Tech Expo conference, which opened here May 20, is dominated by suppliers of hardware components, engineering services and related projects. While a few major aerospace companies, like Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman, are present, the more than 100 companies in the hall are primarily lower-tier suppliers.
Those companies are looking for new opportunities from both established and emerging space companies. That market is growing, based on recent studies on both investment into space companies as well as revenue from their products and services.
A report by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) released May 8 estimated that the satellite industry — including launch and satellite manufacturing, ground equipment and satellite services — generated $277.4 billion in revenue in 2018, an increase of three percent from 2017. That accounted for more than three quarters of the overall space economy, estimated at $360 billion in 2018.
While building and launching satellites are the most visible ...