The global space economy has been growing at a rapid pace, owing to the increasing requirement of satellite and small launch vehicle (SLV) services across different end users, such as defense, academic, commercial, government, and non-profit organization. The sector has been undergoing numerous developments since the past years, due to several factors, including the increasing cost-effectiveness of various systems and the emergence of different technologies, such as 3D printed electronic components and structures, air breathing propulsion systems, electronic propulsion systems, and reusable launch vehicles. The business across the value chain of the space sector, from manufacturing to services, is majorly dominated by the government sector; however, the contribution of private key players is growing, as the usage of satellites has been exponentially increasing in defense, academic, as well as commercial sectors.

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With the increase in the capabilities of small launch vehicles (SLVs), the space industry is increasing its strategic utility, thus motivating various stakeholders, including governments, space agencies, and private companies, to develop next generation (SLVs). For instance, ISRO has announced the launch of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), which will be capable of lifting 700 kg of payload, by end of 2020. Moreover, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is promoting the development of SLVs to cater to the increasing requirement of SLVs to access space.

There are many companies and organizations working in the area of the development of SLVs using COTS components. For instance, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) and NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) have planned to fund new entrants in their research upon and development of SLVs. Furthermore, several programs such as Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) are organized for developing an affordable method for launching small satellites.

As the world fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the industries are experiencing the impacts on their business in various ways in terms of manufacturing, cash-flow challenges, investments, and testing. The pandemic continues to negatively affect the key player operations in various industries, particularly for non-public sectors, such as space. The companies and organizations in the space sector have currently been observing disruption in production and slow demand due to complete lockdown in various countries.

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Due the increasing threat of the disease spread, various rocket launchers, such as Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit, have postponed several launches. However, the companies have rapid launch capability, through which they can effectively manage the production and launch their vehicles as soon as the conditions allow. In addition to this, the continuation of the current halt in all activities in the space industry depends upon the duration for which the threat persists.

Governments and businesses involved with space organizations are also adopting various policies to help combat the spread of the disease and protect their workforces. The impact on space investments, especially in the New Space domain, has begun to surface, which can be a new opportunity for existing and incoming space industry stakeholders.