New Launchers for Small Satellite Systems

  • Carlos Niederstrasser
  • Scott MadryEmail author
Living reference work entry


The “smallsat” revolution has created a new and immediate need for additional launch capabilities for a variety of small payloads, ranging from 1-U CubeSats to larger smallsats of various different designs and applications, ranging up to 500 kg or even larger. An important component of this new market is the variety not only of types of satellites and organizations building them but also the new, very large constellations that will be launching hundreds and even many thousands of small satellites that will drive many of the new launcher needs. Part 4.1 has covered the traditional and existing launch capabilities, such as Soyuz, Ariane, Delta, Atlas, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, Long March, etc. Other articles in this section also discuss several of the new launch options available and their smallsat capabilities and rideshare options as well. These launch options include (i) the SpaceX Falcon launchers; (ii) Blue Origin and their New Glenn launcher; (iii) the new Vulcan launcher that will be a part of the launch services offered by the United Launch Alliance; and (iv) the Ariane 6. In this chapter, the main objective is to consider the many new entrants into the launch industry in recent years that have specifically targeted this emerging new launch market but, in most cases, have not yet flown. The new launch vehicles that are being proposed and built for small satellite launches and how they will accommodate these many small satellite systems and their launch requirements are discussed.


Chinese launchers CubeSat launches Electron launch vehicle Falcon launch vehicle Launcher markets Launch vehicle Minotaur launch vehicle Pegasus launch vehicle Smallsat launch arrangements SpaceX Taurus launch vehicle Vector launch vehicle Conestoga Convair Atlas DARPA Launch Challenge (DLC) NASA Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) Future Launchers Preparatory Programme Horizon 2020 Electron ExSpace Bloostar Relativity Space Additive manufacturing 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northrop Grumman Space SystemsNorthrop Grumman CorporationDullesUSA
  2. 2.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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