How Much Do Satellites Cost?
Satellite launches don't always go well, as shown by this story on failed launches in 1999. There is a great deal at stake. For example, this hurricane-watch satellite mission cost $290 million. This missile-warning satellite cost $682 million.
Another important factor with satellites is the cost of the launch. According to this report, a satellite launch can cost anywhere between $50 million and $400 million. A shuttle mission pushed toward half a billion dollars (a shuttle mission could easily carry several satellites into orbit). You can see that building a satellite, getting it into orbit and then maintaining it from the ground control facility is a major financial endeavor!
Major U.S. satellite firms include: