Credit: SoftBank

Credit: SoftBank

SoftBank’s first pass at Intelsat bondholders comes up empty

PARIS — Bondholders of satellite fleet operator Intelsat gave a thumbs-down to a $1.7-billion debt-exchange offer proposed and negotiated by SoftBank of Japan, forcing Intelsat to extend the offer to May 10, Intelsat said April 21. Read more

Credit: LinkedIn

Credit: LinkedIn

UK spaceport debate wades into unpleasant ITAR territory

PARIS — The British Parliament’s review of legislation to facilitate, but not necessarily finance, a domestic space-launch capability on April 19 took a rare peak at the elephant in the room: ITAR. Read more

  Credit: UK parliamentlive.tv  

 

Credit: UK parliamentlive.tv
 

Surrey’s Sweeting: Brexit has had no effect on our business

PARIS — The chairman of the British satellite company that may have the most to lose in the near-term from the Brexit decision on April 19 said he has seen zero impact on his business. Read more

Credit: HNA Group

Credit: HNA Group

U.S. government rejects Chinese investment in Global Eagle

PARIS — The U.S. government has rejected the planned investment by a Chinese company into in-flight connectivity and entertainment provider Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE), citing national security concerns, leaving the transaction in limbo, GEE said April 18. Read more

Credit: La Voix du Nord

Credit: La Voix du Nord

Europe spaceport’s long shutdown a threat to Arianespace schedule

PARIS — The continued shutdown of Europe’s spaceport threatens to scuttle launch-service provider Arianespace’s plans for 2017 — a year when it hoped to distinguish itself from its competitors. Read more

Credit: IAF via Youtube.

Credit: IAF via Youtube.

Blue Origin’s older than SpaceX in more ways than one

PARIS — Not-so-startup launch service provider and rocket-engine builder Blue Origin now counts more than 1,000 employees, of which 30 percent have more than 20 years’ experience in the aerospace industry and another 30 percent have 10 or more years’ experience, Blue Origin Sales and Marketing Vice President Clay Mowry said. Read more

 
 

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Fabien Jordan. Credit: ELSE SA

Fabien Jordan. Credit: ELSE SA

Interview: ELSE/Astrocast CEO Fabien Jordan & CFO Kjell Karlsen

PARIS — Geostationary satellite fleets lying down with LEO/MEO startups appears to be the seasonal flavor in the commercial satellite world. SES and O3b, Intelsat and OneWeb, Telesat Canada with its own LEO system, DigitalGlobe with Taqnia. Read more

Credit: ELSE

Credit: ELSE

Thuraya teams with Swiss/US Astrocast IoT/M2M startup

PARIS — Mobile satellite communications provider Thuraya Telecommunications Co. has signed an agreement with a Swiss/U.S.-based startup that is developing a constellation of nanosatellites for low-cost machine-to-machine and Internet of Things connectivity. Read more

Credit: exactEarth

Credit: exactEarth

Maritime tracker exactEarth cuts costs, awaits Iridium fleet deployment

PARIS — Satellite maritime vessel-tracking company exactEarth has given up on returning its eV-5 satellite to service but said its loss will have no meaningful effect on the company’s service, especially with four payloads on the Iridium Next satellites set to become operational in May. Read more

Credit: Sky and Space Global and AGI.

Credit: Sky and Space Global and AGI.

Sky and Space Global nears 1st launch of narrowband fleet

PARIS — Start-up satellite voice and messaging service provider Sky and Space Global (SSG) faces at least a month’s launch delay for its first three satellites but can delay payment on its full constellation until the spacecraft are operational, the company said. Read more

Credit: Geek Wire via Youtube

Credit: Geek Wire via Youtube

Bezos says Blue Origin will be a for-profit business

PARIS — Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on April 5 again distinguished himself from SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, with whom is he often compared, by saying patience is one of Blue Origin’s key attributes. Read more

Credit: Melco

Credit: Melco

Mitsubishi invests in satellite plant with government order

PARIS — Satellite builder Mitsubishi Electric Co. (Melco) on April 7 said it would invest 11 billion yen ($94 million) to expand its Kamakura satellite production facility on the heels of winning a Japanese government satellite contract. Read more

Credit: Visiona

Credit: Visiona

Interview: Eduardo Bonini, CEO, Visiona Tecnologia Espacial

RIO DE JANEIRO — The big question hanging over Brazil’s Visiona Tecnologia Espacial has always been: What’s next after the 2-billion-real ($614-million) SGDC civil/military telecommunications project? Four years after the company was created, the answer remains unchanged: No one knows. Read more

Credit: UK Department of International Trade

Credit: UK Department of International Trade

UK seen as good importer of space expertise, less good at aiding exports

LONDON — British government officials are having more success in luring non-British space companies to British soil than they are in using the British export-credit agency to stimulate domestic companies’ export sales. Read more

Credit: OHB

Credit: OHB

Europe’s EDRS-C/Hylas-3 satellite launch set for early 2018

PARIS — Europe’s second laser-optical data-relay satellite and its telecommunications payload for commercial fleet operator Avanti Communications has overcome recent component issues but will not be ready for launch until early 2018, the satellite’s builder said. Read more

Credit: SpaceX

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX’s reusability effort faces one more big challenge

PARIS — SpaceX’s Elon Musk on March 30 outlined how his company expects to leverage its latest operational success in reusing a Falcon 9 first stage — and for a commercial payload to geostationary-transfer orbit to boot — into much lower launch costs. Read more

Credit: BST

Credit: BST

Beijing Star Time shows omnidirectional ambition

PARIS — A Chinese company that has made a $208-million commitment to build a Ka-band HTS satellite with the help of fleet operator Thaicom of Thailand says it intends to launch two satellites and perhaps a LEO constellation as well as part of China’s Belt & Road initiative. Read more

Credit: Thaicom

Credit: Thaicom

Thaicom hangs on to domestic DTH market, targets India for broadband

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Thaicom said it expects to survive Southeast Asia’s excess capacity and bandwidth-price pressure by holding fast to its core Thai direct-to-home satellite television market and expanding its broadband data-transmission reach. Read more

Credit: PanGeo Alliance

Credit: PanGeo Alliance

UrtheCast negotiates tricky path to goal of constellation owner

PARIS — Satellite geospatial imagery and services provider UrtheCast on March 28 said revenue doubled in 2016 and the company turned EBITDA-positive on the strength of its ownership of two Spanish satellites and an alliance with other small Earth imagery providers. Read more