List of spacecraft manufacturers

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During the early years of spaceflight only nation states had the resources to develop and fly spacecraft. Both the U.S. space program and Soviet space program were operated using mainly military pilots as astronauts. During this period, no commercial space launches were available to private operators, and no private organization was able to offer space launches.

In 1980s, the European Space Agency created Arianespace, the world's first commercial space transportation company, and, following the Challenger disaster, the American government deregulated the American space transportation market as well. In the 1990s the Russian government sold their majority stake in RSC Energia to private investors (although it has recently renationalized the Russian space sector in 2013–2014.[1]) These events for the first time allowed private organizations to purchase, develop and offer space launch services; beginning the period of private spaceflight in the late-1980s and early-1990s.

Satellite manufacturers[edit]

There are 8 major companies that build large, commercial, Geosynchronous satellite platforms:

Company Location No of satellites launched Comments
Airbus Defence and Space  Europe ( France/ Germany/ Spain/ United Kingdom) formerly Astrium
OHB SE  Europe ( Germany/ Italy/ Luxembourg/ Sweden/ France/ Belgium)
Boeing Defense, Space & Security  United States formerly Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
JSC Information Satellite Systems  Russia 1160 formerly NPO PM
Lockheed Martin  United States
Orbital ATK  United States formerly Orbital Sciences Corporation
Space Systems/Loral  United States 240[2] formerly Space Systems/Loral, LLC
Thales Alenia Space  Europe ( France/ Italy/ United Kingdom/ Spain/ Belgium/ Germany/ Poland) formerly Alcatel Alenia Space

In addition to those above, the following companies have successfully built and launched satellite platforms:

Company Location No of satellites launched Comments
AeroAstro, Inc.  United States Closed [3]
Amsat International -  United States,  Canada,  Germany,  Italy,  Japan,  India,  United Kingdom,  Argentina consortium of amateur satellite constructors
INVAP  Argentina 6 - SAC-A
ARSAT-1 and ARSAT-2 are Geosynchronous satellite platforms. Invap is developing new satellites ARSAT-3 SAOCOM SAC-E (2015)
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.  United States
British Aerospace  United Kingdom purchased Marconi Electronic Systems, to form BAE Systems
CBERS  Brazil  China 5
Compagnia Generale per lo Spazio  Italy part of OHB SE
Clyde Space  United Kingdom CubeSats and Nanosatellites (<10 kg)
Fairchild Space and Electronics Division  United States sold to Matra Marconi Space, then sold to Orbital Sciences Corporation
Fokker Space & Systems  Netherlands then Dutch Space, now part of EADS Astrium Satellites
GAUSS Srl  Italy 8 CubeSats and Small Satellites (<50 kg)
General Electric  United States then merged into Martin Marietta, now part of Lockheed Martin
GomSpace  Denmark Cubesats and nanosatellites (<10 kg)
Hawker Siddeley Dynamics  United Kingdom now part of EADS Astrium Satellites
Dhruva Space[4]  India Nano Satellites (>8 to <35 kg)
Hughes Aircraft  United States purchased by Boeing
IHI Corporation  Japan
Innovative Solutions In Space[5]  Netherlands CubeSats
NPO Lavochkin  Russia
MicroSat Systems. inc.  Canada formerly Space division of Dynacon Incorporated
Millennium Space Systems  United States 1
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries  Japan
Northrop Grumman Space Technology  United States
NanoAvionics  Lithuania 1 CubeSats and Small Sats
OHB  Europe
Pumpkin, Inc.[6]  United States CubeSat Kit
Philco Ford  United States then Ford Aerospace, now Space Systems/Loral
QinetiQ Space N.V.  Belgium 3 then Verhaert Space
RCA Astro  United States purchased by General Electric, then by Martin Marietta, now part of Lockheed Martin
Rockwell  United States purchased by Boeing
RKK Energiya  Russia produced Sputnik 1
SPAR Aerospace  Canada 8 - Alouette 1 (1)
Anik-E (1)
RADARSAT 1 and 2 (2)
Olympus-1 (1)
MSAT 1, 2 and SA (3)
bought by MacDonald Dettwiler
SNC Space Systems  United States formerly SpaceDev, owned by Sierra Nevada Corporation
SpaceQuest, Ltd  United States 16 Microsatellites & Components
Spectrum Astro  United States bought by General Dynamics
Sun Space and Information Systems (Pty) Ltd  South Africa
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd  United Kingdom now part of Airbus Defence & Space
Swales Aerospace  United States bought by Alliant Techsystems, now Orbital ATK
TRANSPACE Technologies[7]  India On-Board Satellite Systems Fabrication, Testing and Reliability Analysis
Turkish Aerospace Industries  Turkey
TRW  United States now part of Northrop Grumman Space Technology
TsSKB-Progress  Russia manufacturer of Bion-M, Foton-M, Resurs-P and Persona
Yuzhnoye Design Bureau  Ukraine
Xovian[8]  India Nanosat and services

Launch vehicle manufactures and providers of third party services[edit]

Company Location No. of successful launches Comments
Arianespace  Europe ( France/ Germany/ Italy/ Belgium/  Switzerland/ Sweden/ Spain/ Netherlands/ Norway/ Denmark) Ariane (rocket family)
COSMOS International  Russia/ Germany commercialises the Kosmos-3M launcher
Eurockot Launch Services  Europe ( Germany/ France/ United Kingdom/ Spain/ Netherlands/ Russia) owned by EADS Astrium
International Launch Services  United States
97/100[when?][citation needed]
Iranian Space Agency[9]  Iran
ISC Kosmotras  Russia/ Ukraine/ Kazakhstan
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries  Japan 62
Orbital ATK  United States manufacturer of Antares (rocket), Minotaur (rocket) and Pegasus (rocket)
Rocket Crafters Inc  United States manufacturer of Intrepid-1
SpaceX  United States 28/32[needs update][10]
Sea Launch  United States/ Russia/ Ukraine/ Norway 28/31[when?][citation needed] provider of Sea Launch and Land Launch service
Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau  Russia commercialises the Volna and Shtil' launchers
NPO Mashinostroyeniya  Russia commercialises the Strela launcher
Starsem  Europe ( Germany/ France/ United Kingdom/ Spain/ Netherlands/ Italy/ Belgium/  Switzerland/ Sweden/ Norway/ Denmark/ and  Russia) commercialises the Soyuz launcher
TsSKB-Progress  Russia manufacturer of Soyuz launch vehicle
United Launch Alliance  United States
United Start Launch  United States
commercialises the Start-1 launcher

Commercial wings of national space agencies:

Lander, rover and probe manufacturers[edit]

Company Location No. of probes launched Comments
Brown Engineering Company Huntsville, AL  United States Rover for Apollo lunar program
China National Space Administration  People's Republic of China for Chang'e 3 program in 2013
Deep Space Industries Mountain View, CA  United States DragonFly for asteroid material return mission
Lavochkin  Russia rovers for Lunokhod 1
NASA JPL  United States for ATHLETE lunar missions
ISRO  India Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2, Mars Orbiter Mission
Planetary Resources Redmond, WA  United States Arkyd-100 for asteroid searching

Spacecraft component manufacturers[edit]

Company Location Components built Comments
SatRevolution S.A. Wroclaw,  Poland Modules for nanosatellites, Nanosatellite Bus, Power System, AOCS, Solar Panels, Batteries. First Polish satellite manufacturer.
AMR Propulsion Innovations GmbH Wiener Neustadt, Austria Propulsion Systems for Cubesats and Small Sats AMR is commercializing a technology that has been developed for ESA science missions for more than 10 years.
Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH Berlin, Germany Design, Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Verification of small satellite buses (TET-1, launched July 2012) and components. Attitude control components (reaction wheels, gyro system, GPS receiver, magnetometer)

Supplier of space systems and ISS payload NightPod

Antenna Development Corporation - AntDevCo Las Cruces and Albuquerque, NM, United States Design, Manufacturing and test of low gain antennas for spacecraft.

Supplier of microstrip patch antennas, helix antennas, quadrifilar helix antennas, horn antennas, and ground support equipment including antenna hats.

AST Advanced Space Technologies GmbH Bremen, Germany Design, Manufacturing and Assembly of fluid control components for electric propulsion and special equipment for space simulators.

Supplier of cold gas thrusters, flow control units, electronic pressure regulators, valves, particle filters, electric propulsion test equipment and thrust balances.

DSI GmbH Bremen, Germany Cryptography Units (e.g. SAR-Lupe, GökTürk), Payload Data Handling Units (e.g. EnMAP, ExoMars), On-board Computers (e.g. TET, JAXA Hayabusa-II/MASCOT), Data Processing Units, Communication Systems, Ground Test & Simulation Equipment
Dynetics Madison, AL  United States used on Sundancer and Ares I
American Technology Consortium Oxnard, CA  United States Mars Pathfinder Airbag Retraction Actuator Planetary Gearboxes, Mars Pathfinder Camera Pointing Mechanisms, Stardust Scan Mirror Mechanism, Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor (MVACS) Robot Arm Brush Motors, MVACS Camera Pointing Mechanisms, Genesis Array Deployment Mechanism, Shuttle Radar Topography Mapper (SRTM) Mast Deployment Actuators, SRTM Harmonic Drive Actuators, A2100 & A2100M Bus Antenna Pointing Mechanism Linear Actuators, Orbview 3 & 4 Antenna Gimbals, Sirius Satellite Radio Antenna Gimbal Motors, Champollion Cryogenic Comet Drill Actuator, TES Filter Wheel Actuator, Mars Odyssey Mission PanCam Mast Deployment Actuator, Mars Odyssey PanCam Azimuth Twist Capsule and Actuator Assembly, Mars Odyssey PanCam Elevation Actuator, Mars Odyssey Drill Mechanism Gearboxes, and Mars Phoenix Camera Pointing Mechanisms Asset sale to competitor in 2000, Original corporation renamed to Rocketstar Robotics Inc in 2006
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. Seattle, WA  United States De-Orbiting Devices, Deployable Solar Arrays, Propulsion Systems, Radio Communications, and Robotics
RUAG Space   Switzerland Structures, Fairings, Mechanisms, Opto-Electronics
GAUSS Srl Rome,  Italy Complete Space Platforms, Nanosatellites Structures and Deployers, OBDH, EPS, Radio Communications, Solar Panels and Groundstation systems
Andrews Space Seattle, WA  United States
Final Frontier Construction LLC Ashton, MD  United States Scaled examples of Gershin Class and Shia Class inverse truss hulls with artificial gravity capability
Jena-Optronik[11] Jena,  Germany Attitude and Orbit Control Systems (AOCS) sensors: star sensors, sun sensors, redezvous- and docking sensors; Optical space instruments and components: multi-spectral imager (e.g. JSS 56 for RapidEye satellite constellation, efficient radiometer (e.g. METimage), electronic as well as opto-mechanical subsystems and components for operational Earth observation (e.g. for Copernicus Sentinel missions)
Pumpkin, Inc San Francisco, CA  United States CubeSat Kits
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace[12] Kongsberg  Norway Kongsberg Adaptive Rotational Mechanism Assembly [KARMA] in configuration as Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM), used on Rosetta (spacecraft), Mars Express, Venus Express, Sentinel 1, Sentinel 3 and BepiColombo MTM.

Drive electronics for Sentinel 1 and BepiColombo MTM. Booster attachment struts, including separation function, for Ariane 5.

Production Corporation Polyot  Russia
Rocketstar Robotics Inc[13] Camarillo, CA  United States Space Interferometry Mission Optical Shutter Mechanisms
Thortek Laboratories, Inc. Irvine, KY  United States merged with SpaceDev
Starsys Sparks, NV  United States merged with SpaceDev
SNC Space Systems  United States formerly SpaceDev, owned by Sierra Nevada Corporation
Clyde Space  United Kingdom Power System Electronics, Batteries, Solar Panels, Attitude Control Systems
Astro Aerospace[14] Carpinteria, CA  United States Deployable mechanisms, spacecraft structures, AstroMesh deployable reflector, deployable booms, large and small aperature mesh reflector antennas, STEM (Storable Tubular Extendable Member), hinge mechanisms, A special business unit of Northrop Grumman
TRANSPACE Technologies[15] Bangalore, KA  India On-Board Satellite Sub-Systems Fabrication, Testing, Reliability Analysis and PCB Design Approved Vendor for ISRO Satellite Center, India
RadioBro Corporation[16] Huntsville, Alabama  United States Small Spacecraft Communications, Flight Readiness Testing, Training Services
Solar MEMS Technologies[17]  Spain Sun Sensors for Satellites

Propulsion manufacturers[edit]

Company name Country Engine Engine type Comments
SatRevolution S.A. Wroclaw,  Poland Electrical engines for nanosatellites. Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPT) for different satellite sizes. First Polish satellite manufacturer.
Moog-ISP (In Space Propulsion) Westcott, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom

Niagara Falls, NY  United States

All Forms of Chemical Propulsion including Main Apogee Engines and AOCS Thrusters Bipropellant and Monopropellant Product Families Include: LEROS, MONARC Thruster, LTT Thruster Division of Moog Inc.
Busek Natick, Massachusetts  United States BHT-200, BHT-1500, BHT-20k, BET-1, BmP-220, BIT-1, BIT-3, BIT-7, uPPT-3 Hall-effect thruster, Gridded Ion, Electrospray, micro Pulsed Plasma, Green Monopropellant, Electrothermal, Hollow Cathodes, Field Emission Cathode TacSat-2, FalconSat-5, FalconSat-6, ST-7/LISA Pathfinder. Licensed technology for BPT-4000 aboard AEHF 1, AEHF 2, AEHF 3. Propulsion options ranging from CubeSats to GEO Communications Satellites to Asteroid Redirect Mission Spacecraft.[18]
Aerojet Rocketdyne Rancho Cordova, California  United States Numerous liquid rocket engine, Solid rocket engine, Hall-effect thruster, Gridded Ion thruster.
American Rocket Company  United States hybrid rocket intellectual property acquired by SpaceDev
CU Aerospace Champaign, IL  United States PUC, CHIPS, PPT-11 MCD[19] / Resistojet / PPT[20] Small satellite / CubeSat Propulsion Modules [21]
Frontier Astronautics Valencia, CA  United States VIPER liquid oxygen
Asp high test peroxide
AE Aerospace Louisville, KY  United States HIRE hybrid ion rocket engine [22][23]
Ad Astra Rocket Company Webster, TX  United States VASIMR magnetoplasma may be used for future Mars missions
Reaction Engines Ltd. Oxfordshire, England  United Kingdom SABRE combined cycle precooled jet engine and closed cycle rocket engine planned to be used in Skylon
SpaceDev Poway, CA  United States hybrid rocket used on SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo
SpaceX Hawthorne, California,  United States Merlin/ Raptor / Draco / Kestrel liquid rocket engine used on Falcon Rockets
Snecma Courcouronnes,  France Vinci / Viking / Vulcain / HM7B liquid rocket engine used on Ariane rockets
NPO Energomash  Russia liquid rocket engine used on R-7, Molniya, Soyuz, Energia, Zenit, Atlas III, Atlas V, Angara, Antares
KBKhA  Russia liquid rocket engine used on Soyuz, Proton, Energia
KBKhM  Russia liquid rocket engine used on Vostok, Voskhod, Zenit, Soyuz, Progress, Salyut 1, Salyut 4, Salyut 6, Salyut 7, Mir Core Module, Zvezda, GSLV Mk I
NIIMash  Russia liquid rocket engine used on Almaz, Buran, Briz-M
TsNIIMash  Russia used on STEX
Kuznetsov Design Bureau  Russia liquid rocket engine used on N1, Soyuz-2-1v, Antares
OKB Fakel  Russia Hall-effect thruster used on SMART-1, LS-1300
Proton-PM  Russia liquid rocket engine used on Proton, Angara
Keldysh Research Center  Russia
Voronezh Mechanical Plant  Russia liquid rocket engine used on Vostok, Voskhod, Molniya, Soyuz, Proton, Energia, Luna
Yuzhnoye Design Office / Yuzhmash  Ukraine used on

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Messier, Doug (2013-10-09). "Rogozin Outlines Plans for Consolidating Russia’s Space Industry". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Comtech To Shut Down AeroAstro Small-satellite Operation -". 16 July 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  4. ^ "Dhruva Space". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "ISIS". Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Werner, Debra (2012-08-13). "Builder Packing More Capability into Small Satellites". Space News. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "TRANSPACE". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Xovian". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Iran unveils three new home-made satellites". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Launch Manifest". Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "BDLI manufacturer for space". Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kongsberg Gruppen". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rocketstar Robotics". Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Astro Aerospace". Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "TRANSPACE". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "RadioBro". Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "SolarMEMS". Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "Busek Home Page". Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  19. ^ Chadenedes, Mark de; Ahern, Drew; Cho, Jin-Hoon; Park, Sung-Jin; Eden, J.; Burton, Rodney; Yoon, Je Kwon; Garrett, Stephen; Sitaraman, Hariswaran; Raja, Laxminarayan; Laystrom-Woodard, Julia; Carroll, David; Benavides, Gabriel. 46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi:10.2514/6.2010-6616. Retrieved 11 August 2017 – via American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 
  20. ^ Laystrom, Julia; Burton, Rodney; Benavides, Gabriel. "Geometric Optimization of a Coaxial Pulsed Plasma Thruster". doi:10.2514/6.2003-5025. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "CU Aerospace - Small-Satellite Propulsion". 10 August 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "New Technology: Hybrid Ion Rocket Engine". Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Hybrid Ion Rocket Engine". AE Aerospace. Retrieved 11 August 2017.