Affiliations: Mac Rae Technologies, 72 Sherbrook Drive, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922, USA E‐mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Global commercial launch service capacity has been increased in the past five years to meet the challenge of the anticipated large increase in demand for launches of commercial communications satellites to LEO, MEO and GEO. The lift‐off weight capability of rockets has also been increased in response to the increased mass of new higher power, wider bandwidth GEO satellites and the prospects of launching several satellites at a time. Several countries and private companies have initiated new launch efforts to meet this anticipated demand. This paper describes the capability of launch service providers, trends in launch technology and challenges facing this industry.
Keywords: Atlas, Arianespace, Delta, EELV, ESA, H‐2A, lanch, launch quota, Long March, NASA, NASDA, orbital debris, Pegasus, Project X‐33 Proton, satellite, Sea Launch, Taurus