A flurry of contract activity involving Telesat, broadband and LEO, but not Telesat LEO

PARIS — Recent announcements by Telesat on low-orbiting broadband satellites with the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), Airbus U.S. Space and Defense, Lockheed Martin and German startup satellite laser com manufacturer Mynaric all concern low-orbiting broadband satellites for the U.S. military.
Whether they will help jump-start Telesat’s long-planned LEO broadband constellation is unknown.
Telesat originally offered its LEO design — with phased-array antennas and four 10-Gbps laser optical terminals each for inter . . .
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Iridium navigates Covid headwinds well, but cautions that aviation recovery will be slow

PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications said its overall business is coping better than expected with the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing the company to increase capex, but that the maritime and aviation businesses are not yet recovering.
Iridium specifically cited commercial aviation, expected as a big market for Iridium’s new Certus broadband products. A quick rebound in aviation is not in the offing, Iridium Chief Executive Matt Desch said.
“The global aviation market, particularly the commercial side, may take about two to three years to . . .
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Eurospace asks European governments to fund a multiple-use LEO broadband constellation

PARIS — Europe’s space industry association, ASD-Eurospace, is urging the European Commission to field a constellation of broadband satellites in low Earth orbit to be owned by the commission and  designed for civil, military and commercial use.
The constellation would fulfill some of the roles envisioned by the commission’s Quantum Communications Infrastructure and GovSatCom programs in addition to assuring broadband access to all EU citizens. It would also help buttress Europe’s independent access to space by giving EU launch service providers a . . .
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19 experts, 11 algorithms and the results are in: Here are the 50 most dangerous pieces of orbital debris

Shown here are the 50 objects, mainly rocket stages, that an international panel of experts view as the most dangerous pieces of orbital debris. Credit: Centauri
PARIS — An international group of space experts, mainly scientists using their own algorithms, assembled a list of the 50 most dangerous pieces of orbital debris and concluded that the top 20 are all Soviet/Russian Zenit 2 SL-16 rocket stages.
The criteria adopted by the 19-member group, which included Russian, Chinese, European, Japanese, U.S. and private-sector representatives, began with an assessment of the . . .
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Maritime vessel-tracking service provider exactEarth: We’ll grow revenue at 15-20% CAGR for several years

PARIS — Satellite maritime vessel-tracking provider exactEarth Ltd. told investors it is crossing into positive-EBITDA territory now and can expect to generate 15-20% annual revenue increases for the next several years.
After several years of rough going, Canada-based exactEarth said the launch of the ESAIL satellite Sept. 3 — built with the help of the 22-nation European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg and Canadian space agencies — will reduce its annual capex to around 500,000 Canadian dollars ($381,000).
ExactEarth’s . . .
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France, still skeptical of business model, invites European launcher startups to consider French Guiana spaceport

PARIS — The French government, which has spent years wishing all the talk about small launchers in Europe would just go away, is now laying out a welcome mat in hopes of luring small-rocket startups to Europe’s 60-year-old Guiana Space Center (CSG) spaceport.
The change in approach is not the result of a sudden belief in the viability of very small rockets as a business: It’s still hard to find anyone at the French space agency, CNES, who thinks that dedicated cubesat launch service providers . . .
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SES asks Global Eagle Entertainment Chapter 11 court to force payment of 8-transponder sale

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES asked the bankruptcy court handling in-flight-connectivity provider Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) to force GEE to pay the final installment in a contract to purchase eight transponders on an SES satellite.
SES’s claim is one of many being filed with the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware following the court’s Oct. 10 decision to move forward with the sale of GEE’s assets to a group of GEE creditors.
These creditors had come together . . .
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