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List of spacecraft manufacturers

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

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 too deregulated the American space transportation market. In the 1990s the Russian government sold their majority stake in RSC Energia to private investors. These events for the first time allowed private organizations purchase, develop and offer space launchers; beginning the period of private spaceflight.

The following is a list of non-government-owned spacecraft manufacturing companies and contractors.

Satellite manufactures

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

Company Location No of satellites launched Comments
Alcatel Alenia Space Europe now Thales Alenia Space
Boeing USA
EADS Astrium Satellites Europe a business unit of EADS Astrium
Lockheed Martin USA
Space Systems/Loral USA

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

Company Location No of satellites launched Comments
AeroAstro, Inc. USA
Amsat International consortium of amateur satellite constructors
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. USA
British Aerospace UK purchased Marconi Electronic Systems, to form BAE Systems
Carlo Gavazzi Space S.p.A. Italy
China Academy of Space Technology China part of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
Defence Research and Development Organisation India
Fairchild Space and Electronics Division sold to Matra Marconi Space, then sold to Orbital Sciences Corporation
Fokker Space & Systems Netherlands then Dutch Space, now part of EADS Astrium Satellites
General Electric USA then merged into Martin Marietta, now part of Lockheed Martin
Hawker Siddeley Dynamics UK now part of EADS Astrium Satellites
Hughes Aircraft USA purchased by Boeing
IHI Corporation Japan
Israel Aircraft Industries Israel
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center Russia produced Mir and Salyut
NPO Lavochkin Russia
MicroSat Systems. inc. USA
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Japan
Northrop Grumman Space Technology USA
Orbital Sciences Corporation USA
Philco Ford USA then Ford Aerospace, now Space Systems/Loral
JSC Information Satellite Systems Russia formerly NPO PM
RCA Astro USA purchased by General Electric, then by Martin Marietta, now part of Lockheed Martin
Rockwell USA purchased by Boeing
RKK Energiya Russia produced Sputnik 1
SPAR Aerospace Canada now MacDonald Dettwiler
SpaceDev USA
Spectrum Astro USA
Sun Space and Information Systems (Pty) Ltd
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd UK now part of EADS Astrium Satellites
Swales Aerospace USA
TRW USA now part of Northrop Grumman Space Technology
Yuzhnoye Design Bureau Ukraine

Launch vehicle manufactures

Company Location No. of successful launches Comments
Arianespace Europe 240+
Antrix Corporation India
EADS Astrium Space Transportation Europe
Eurockot Launch Services Europe owned by EADS Astrium
International Launch Services USA/Russia 97/100
ISC Kosmotras Russia/Ukraine/Kazakhstan
Orbital Sciences Corporation USA formerly owned ORBIMAGE (now GeoEye)
SpaceDev USA owned by Sierra Nevada Corporation
SpaceQuest, Ltd. USA
SpaceX USA 1/4
Sea Launch USA/Russia/Ukraine/Norway 26/29 owns subsidiary Land Launch
Starsem Europe/Russia commercialises the Soyuz launcher
United Launch Alliance

Lander, rover and probe manufacturers

Company Location No. of probes launched Comments

Spacecraft component manufacturers

Company Location Components built Comments
Andrews Space
EADS Astrium Satellites
Thortek Laboratories, Inc.
Starsys merged with SpaceDev

Propulsion manufacturers

Company name Engine Engine type Comments
American Rocket Company hybrid rocket intellectual property acquired by SpaceDev
Frontier Astronautics VIPER liquid oxygen
Asp high test peroxide
Orion Propulsion used on Sundancer and Ares I
Ad Astra Rocket Company VASIMR magnetoplasma may be used for future Mars missions
Reaction Engines Ltd. SABRE rocket/turbojet/ramjet planned to be used in Skylon
SpaceDev hybrid rocket used on SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo

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Published - July 2009

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