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A launch service provider (LSP) is a type of company which specialises in launching spacecraft. In 2018, the launch services sector accounted for $5.5 billion out of a total $344.5 billion "global space economy".[1]: 9  It is responsible for the ordering, conversion or construction of the carrier rocket, assembly and stacking, payload integration, and ultimately conducting the launch itself. Some of these tasks may be delegated or sub-contracted to other companies. For example, United Launch Alliance has formally subcontracted the production of GEM solid rocket motors for their Delta II and Delta IV (Medium version) rockets to Alliant Techsystems, both vehicles are now retired.[2][3] An LSP does not necessarily build all the rockets it launches.

A document central to successful launch service provision is the Interface Control Document (ICD), a contract that specifies the integration and mission requirements responsibilities across the service provider and the service solicitor.[4]: 138 

In some cases, an LSP is not required to launch a rocket. Government organizations such as the military and defense forces may conduct the launch themselves.

List of active launch service providers


Former Corporate

Governmental and State-owned

List of defunct launch service providers


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2018 (Report). United States Government (Federal Aviation Administration). January 2018. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  2. ^ "Propulsion Products Catalog" (PDF). Orbital ATK. 5 April 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  3. ^ Clark, Stephen (14 September 2018). "Engineers say goodbye to society-changing Delta 2 rocket – Spaceflight Now". Spaceflight Now. Pole Star Publications. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  4. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (2012). "Commercial Space Transportation: 2011 Year in Review". In Freeman SO, Butler KI (eds.). Commercial Space Industry: Manufacturing, Suborbitals and Transportation (This is an edited, reformatted and augmented version of the Federal Aviation Administration, HQ-121525.INDD, dated January 2012.). Space Science, Exploration and Policies. New York: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 978-1-62257-303-5. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  5. ^ a b c d e Moore, Maurice H. (February 2011). Department of Defense Spacelift In A Fiscally Constrained Environment (MS (Master of Military Art and Science) thesis). U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brooks, Timothy A. (1991). "Regulating International Trade in Launch Services". High Technology Law Journal. 6 (1): 66. eISSN 2380-4734. ISSN 0885-2715. JSTOR 24122277. Retrieved 2 July 2022.