PARIS — The year 2019 was supposed to be the breakout year for commercial constellations of small satellites, the year when an exciting niche would transition into an industry. It didn’t happen.

Smallsat constellation startups have struggled to find financing and suffered delays in their initial proof-of-concept satellites.

Further delaying the transition to industry status is the decision by companies with enough resources to proceed with full-scale production to keep the manufacturing in-house. It’s a model pioneered by Planet and Spire . . .

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