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 the 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
INVAP Argentina 6 INVAP is developing new satellites ARSAT-3 SAOCOM SABIA-Mar
JSC Information Satellite Systems Russia 1160 formerly NPO PM
Lockheed Martin Space United States
Northrop Grumman United States formerly Orbital ATK
Raytheon United States One of worlds largest space sensor providers.
Maxar Space United States 240[2] formerly Space Systems Loral, formally SSL, subsidiary of Maxar Technologies
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 (smaller) satellite platforms:

Company Location No of satellites launched Comments
AeroAstro, Inc. United States Closed [3]
British Aerospace United Kingdom purchased Marconi Electronic Systems, to form BAE Systems
CBERS Brazil China 5
EnduroSat Europe (Bulgaria) CubeSats and Nanosatellites
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 9 CubeSats and Small Satellites (<50 kg)
General Electric United States then merged into Martin Marietta, now part of Lockheed Martin
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
In-Space Missions[5] United Kingdom Launching first satellite in Q2 2020
Innovative Solutions In Space[6] Netherlands CubeSats
NPO Lavochkin Russia
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Japan
Northrop Grumman Space Technology United States
NanoAvionics United States 7 CubeSats and Small Sats
Pumpkin, Inc.[7] United States CubeSat Kit
OneWeb United Kingdom 40[8] OneWeb satellite constellation
Planet Labs United States 298[9] Earth observation satellite constellation
Philco Ford United States then Ford Aerospace, now Space Systems/Loral
QinetiQ Space N.V. Belgium 3 then Verhaert Space
Rockwell United States purchased by Boeing
RKK Energiya Russia produced Sputnik 1
Satrec Initiative Korea 5
SPAR Aerospace Canada 8 bought by MacDonald Dettwiler
SNC Space Systems United States formerly SpaceDev, owned by Sierra Nevada Corporation
SpaceX United States 1205[10] largest commercial satellite constellation operator in the world with the Starlink constellation[11]
Spectrum Astro United States bought by General Dynamics
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[12] India On-Board Satellite Systems Fabrication, Testing and Reliability Analysis
TRW United States nearly 200 [13] now part of Northrop Grumman Space Technology
TsSKB-Progress Russia manufacturer of Bion-M, Foton-M, Resurs-P and Persona
Xovian[14] India Nanosat and services
York Space Systems United States 1[15] Up to 250 kg spacecraft production and launch services[16]
Yuzhnoye Design Bureau Ukraine

Launch vehicle manufacturers 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) 235/247 Ariane (rocket family)
Delft Aerospace Rocket Engineering Netherlands Suborbital student-built sounding rockets
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[17] Iran
ISC Kosmotras Russia/Ukraine/Kazakhstan
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Japan 62
Northrop Grumman United States manufacturer of Antares, Minotaur and Pegasus
PLD Space Spain manufacturer of Miura 1 and Miura 5
Rocket Crafters Inc United States manufacturer of Intrepid-1[18]
Rocket Lab New Zealand/United States 18/21 manufacturer of Electron launch vehicle
SpaceX United States 129/134 Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
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
The Spaceship Company United States Reusable spaceship launched from the White Knight Aircraft for space tourism and zero-g experimentation
TsSKB-Progress Russia manufacturer of Soyuz launch vehicle
United Launch Alliance United States
United Start Launch United States
commercialises the Start-1 launcher[19]
Virgin Galactic United States Space Tourism Using 'The Spaceship Company spacecraft
Virgin Orbit United States / United Kingdom manufacturer of LauncherOne air-launched launch vehicle
Blue Origin United States manufacturer of simple rockets.
Independence-X Aerospace Malaysia manufacturer of DNLV launch vehicle
Borneo SubOrbitals Malaysia manufacturer of unnamed suborbital rocket

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 China for Chang'e 3 program in 2013
Deep Space Industries Mountain View, CA United States
Lavochkin Russia rovers for Lunokhod 1
NASA JPL United States for ATHLETE lunar missions, Mars Pathfinder, Opportunity and Spirit rover
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 Production Notes
Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH [de] 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

Bradford Space New York, NY Supplier of green propulsion systems, rocket engines, sun sensors, reaction wheels, acceleration measurement units, and astronaut workstations. Over 100 thrusters in-space
Dynetics Madison, AL United States used on Sundancer and Ares I
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
AB 360 Space United States manufacturer of CLEPS-C100 Combined electric Propulsion systems, Adjustable Thruster Engines for Mars travel
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
Jena-Optronik [de][20] Jena, Germany Attitude and Orbit Control Systems (AOCS) sensors: star sensors, sun sensors, rendezvous- 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[21]
Mynaric Munich Germany Laser communication equipment for airborne and spaceborne communication networks, so called constellations.
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace[22] 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[23] Camarillo, CA United States Space Interferometry Mission Optical Shutter Mechanisms
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 Acquired by ÅAC Microtec[24]
Astro Aerospace[25] 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[26] Bangalore, KA India On-Board Satellite Sub-Systems Fabrication, Testing, Reliability Analysis and PCB Design Approved Vendor for ISRO Satellite Center, India
RadioBro Corporation[27] Huntsville, Alabama United States Small Spacecraft Communications, Flight Readiness Testing, Training Services[28]
Solar MEMS Technologies[29] Spain Sun Sensors for Satellites[30]

Propulsion manufacturers[edit]

Company name Country Engine Engine type Comments
ArianeGroup Lampoldshausen, Germany S10, S20, S200, S400

CHT-1N, CHT-20N, CHT-400N

RIT-10, RIT-2x

propellant and Monopropellant Thrusters, Gridded Ion Thrusters Main manufacturer for Propulsion Systems, Equipments and Services in Europe, serving major space projects like ATV, ORION-ESM, ExoMars, JUICE, MTG, GEO and EO satellites with Propulsion Solutions.
AB 360 Space Washington DC, United States CLEPS X-100, CLEPS C100 hybrid Thrusters, Combined Liquid Electric Propulsion Systems, Methane/ Oxygen Ion Thrusters Uses Electric and Liquid Propulsion simultaneously for space propulsion for LEO/MEOsatellites [31]
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.
Bradford Space New York, NY LMP-103s thrusters,

Water based thrusters

LMP-103s green monopropellant propulsion systems & thrusters,

COMET water based propulsion systems

>100 thrusters on flight satellites
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.[32]
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[33] / Resistojet / PPT[34] Small satellite / CubeSat Propulsion Modules [35]
VIPER liquid rocket engine reusable rocket engine [36]
Ad Astra Rocket Company Webster, TX United States VASIMR magnetoplasma may be used for future Mars missions
Enpulsion GmbH Wiener Neustadt, Austria Propulsion Systems for Cubesats, Small Sats, and Medium/Large Satellites Field Emission Electric Propulsion Enpulsion is commercializing a technology that has been developed for ESA science missions for more than 10 years.[37]
PLD Space Spain TREPEL family used on Miura Rockets
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
ArianeGroup Vernon, 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
Independence-X Aerospace Malaysia ID-1, ID-2, ID-3 and unnamed 2-stage rocket engine for DNLV solid rocket motor and liquid rocket engine used on ID-1, ID-2 and DNLV rocket
Borneo SubOrbitals Malaysia hybrid rocket used on yet-to-be-named rocket
Apollo Fusion United States ACE, ACE Max Hall-effect thruster To be used on Spaceflight, Inc.'s Sherpa-LTE space tug[38]
Benchmark Space Systems United States Starling, Halcyon, Peregrine Warm gas thruster, High-test peroxide thruster, Hypergolic thruster To be used on Spaceflight, Inc.'s Sherpa-LTC space tug[38]
ThrustMe France NPT30, I2T5 Gridded ion thruster,[39][40] Cold gas thruster[41] first in-orbit demonstration of an electric propulsion system powered by iodine[42]

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ "Comtech To Shut Down AeroAstro Small-satellite Operation -". 16 July 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Dhruva Space". Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  5. ^ "In-Space". Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  6. ^ "ISIS". Retrieved 9 December 2013.
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  8. ^ "Inside Planet Labs' new satellite manufacturing site". TechCrunch. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 23 June 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
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  11. ^ "TRANSPACE". Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  12. ^ "TRW Plays Key Role in Aerospace". Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Xovian". Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  14. ^ Howell, Elizabeth (16 May 2019). "It Only Took A Few Months For This Satellite To Get Ready For Space". Forbes. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  15. ^ "YORK SPACE SYSTEMS". 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Iran unveils three new home-made satellites". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
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  19. ^ "BDLI manufacturer for space". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  20. ^ "Nanosatellites Take off".
  21. ^ "Kongsberg Gruppen". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  22. ^ "Rocketstar Robotics". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  23. ^ "Satellite maker Clyde Space acquired by Swedish rival". BBC News. 22 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Astro Aerospace". Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  25. ^ "TRANSPACE". Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  26. ^ "RadioBro". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  27. ^ "RadioBro entrepreneurs prep for launch of Cyclone flight test system". 9 August 2016.
  28. ^ "SolarMEMS". Retrieved 1 September 2016.
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  30. ^ "SpaceNews August 2021 Newsletter,". Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  31. ^ "Busek Home Page". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  32. ^ 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. "Advances in Microcavity Discharge Thruster Technology". 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.
  33. ^ Laystrom, Julia; Burton, Rodney; Benavides, Gabriel (2003). Geometric Optimization of a Coaxial Pulsed Plasma Thruster. doi:10.2514/6.2003-5025. ISBN 978-1-62410-098-7. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  34. ^ "CU Aerospace - Small-Satellite Propulsion". 10 August 2014. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  35. ^ "A Rocket Engine for the Masses". 18 March 2019.
  36. ^ "Austrian startup ramping to mass produce tricky electric propulsion thrusters". 26 October 2017.
  37. ^ a b "Spaceflight announces Sherpa tug with electric propulsion". 12 November 2020.
  38. ^ Werner, Debra (6 November 2020). "Spacety launches satellite to test ThrustMe iodine electric propulsion and constellation technologies". Space News. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  39. ^ "French startup demonstrates iodine propulsion in potential boost for space debris mitigation efforts". Spacenews. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  40. ^ "Iodine Impulse for Smallsats Demo'd On-Orbit by ThrustMe and Spacety". Smallsat News. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  41. ^ "Iodine thruster could slow space junk accumulation". 22 January 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2021.