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Compare & contrast: Commercial satellite radar startups Capella Space and Iceye

PARIS — Capella Space of the United States and Iceye of Finland are venture-capital-funded startups building constellations of radar satellites for government and commercial customers worldwide — assuming there are enough of them to close a business plan. It’s risky, and while both companies have raised sufficient capital to start launching their constellations, both have also been hit square in...

SSL President Zamarian: We’ll protect our customers no matter what – even if we have to shut down Palo Alto plant

PARIS — When Dario Zamarian left private-equity investment company Blackstone Group to become president of satellite builder SSL in 2017 he thought he would be helping diversify a company away from large, commercial, geostationary-orbit telecommunications satellites. He knew he arrived at what was then thought to be the latest cyclical downturn in GEO satellite orders, out of which Palo Alto,...

Space Data Center 2.0, powered by ComSpOC: There’s safety in our numbers
Sponsored by Analytical Graphics Inc

Telesat: First review of Maxar/Thales v Airbus bids for LEO program in a few weeks

PARIS — Telesat expects to select a prime contractor for its multibillion-dollar LEO broadband constellation by mid-2019 from competing bids by Airbus Defense and Space on the one hand and a joint bid of Maxar Technologies’ SSL and MDA with Thales Alenia Space, said Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO. Hudson said Sept. 11 that Telesat will be making its first big review of the bidders’...

OneWeb, treading water awaiting debt financing, now a source of industry concern

PARIS — Startup broadband mega-constellation operator OneWeb’s recent change of CEO and its continued lack of debt financing is feeding concerns among industry officials of the consequences for the commercial space sector if the multibillion-dollar constellation is seriously delayed, downsized or worse. OneWeb, founded by Greg Wyler and backed by Softbank and a half-dozen OneWeb suppliers that...

Viasat selects ULA Atlas 5 to launch one of three Viasat-3 satellites

PARIS — Viasat Inc. selected United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch a Viasat-3 broadband satellite into geostationary orbit sometime between 2020 and 2022 aboard a ULA Atlas 5 in its 551 configuration, the vehicle’s largest variant, Viasat and ULA announced Sept. 10. It was ULA’s first commercial deal since Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services handed over Atlas 5 commercial sales...

France to add cameras to next milsatcom satellites in move to space-based space surveillance

PARIS — France’s defense minister on Sept. 7 said France’s next-generation geostationary-orbit military telecommunications satellites would carry small cameras to better identify and track unfriendly visits by other nations’ spacecraft. Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said the decision is a first, affordable manifestation of France’s decision to make space situational awareness a government...

Merge it, sell it or scrap it: Maxar’s SSL Palo Alto campus going, one way or another

PARIS — Maxar Technologies, whose SSL unit ruled the roost for geostationary-orbit telecommunications satellites before that market’s collapse, has abandoned the diplomatic language and told investors straight out: Its SSL Silicon Valley production facility will be merged with another satellite builder, sold outright or, if that fails, shut down once current contract obligations are finished....

Thai military orders Earth observation cubesat from Innovative Solutions in Space

PARIS — Thailand’s military, which has been notably absent from previous Thai government Earth observation contracts, has ordered a 6U Earth observation cubesat from small satellite developer and launch-service aggregator Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS). The satellite will be launched in late 2019 as part of a ride-share package ISIS purchased earlier this year aboard Europe’s Vega...

Interview: Smallsat electric propulsion provider Exotrail CEO David Henri

PARIS — France’s Exotrail is the latest addition to the group of startups that have raised financing to design electric propulsion for small satellites. All are betting that the no-propulsion Planet and Spire smallsat models will gradually give way to slightly larger satellites, in more-precise orbits, that will require propulsion for in-orbit maneuvering. Exotrail has raised 4 million euros...

M2M/IoT satellite startup Sky and Space Global says cash now sufficient for coming year

PARIS — Startup satellite narrowband M2M/IoT service provider Sky and Space Global (SAS) reported a narrower net loss in the 12 months ending June 30 compared to the previous year and said that a previous stock issue had raised sufficient cash to cover expenses for the coming 12 months. The company, registered in Britain and traded on the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX), is in a race to line up...

For commercial satellite SigInt startup Kleos, a rough 1st week after IPO

PARIS — Commercial electronics-intelligence satellite startup Kleos Space’s initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange succeeded in securing sufficient cash to fund planned operations for the coming 12 months but showed that stock markets don’t respect honeymoons. The Aug. 24 raised the targeted 11 million Australian dollars ($8 million), selling 55 million shares — CHESS...

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