Commercial Communications Satellite Launch Mass – It’s Complicated

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Two years ago, Forecast International published a blog post about a trend toward decreasing launch mass in commercial communications satellites. Since that post has remained popular, we think our readers will be interested in an updated look at trends in launch mass and the commercial satellite industry. Continue reading

Average Commercial Communications Satellite Launch Mass Declines, Again

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Satellite deliveries and launch massThe average size, or launch mass, of commercial communications satellites is declining. After the average launch mass reached a peak of 4,424 kilograms in 2012, it declined to 3,578 kilograms in 2013 and 2,755 kilograms in 2014. Even the launch mass of geosynchronous satellites, which are typically heavier than LEO spacecraft, declined in 2014. The launch mass of GEO satellites peaked in 2013, when it reached 5,288 kilograms. The average launch mass of geosynchronous satellites declined to 4,276 kilograms in 2014.
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Paris Air Show Promises to be Biggest Ever, and Heralds a Return of the U.S. Military

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace Analyst, Forecast International.

bi_d_m-300x215The Paris Air Show is the world’s largest aerospace trade show, and organizers say that the 2015 event will host 2,260 exhibitors from 47 countries, surpassing the record 2,215 exhibitors hosted in 2013.

One of the highlights of the 2015 exhibition will be the return of the U.S. military, which skipped the 2013 Paris show due to sequestration-related budgetary issues.  A large static display of several U.S. military aircraft and rotorcraft is planned for the 2015 show, including a possible last hurrah at Paris for the A-10 close air support aircraft, which the U.S. Air Force has been trying to retire against the wishes of Congress.  One notable absence will be the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is not scheduled to make the trip to Paris.  None of the U.S. military aircraft are slated to perform in the show’s daily flying display. Continue reading