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FCC says it can’t verify satellite constellations’ interference threat, passes buck to ITU

PARIS — Current and prospective satellite fleet operators are asking the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reverse a proposed rule that would allow operators of low-orbiting constellations to self-certify that their networks won’t interfere with satellites in geostationary orbit. The FCC’s decision, which represents a 180-degree switch from its earlier position, would essentially...

SES bets more than $1 billion that Boeing satellites can lure Amazon Web Services et al

PARIS— Satellite fleet operator SES’s seven-satellite contract with Boeing is valued at about $750 million and is the centerpiece of a total investment exceeding $1 billion that includes major new spending on ground terminals and gateway antennas, industry officials said. The O3b mPower satellites, scheduled for launch in 2021 on two still-unselected rockets, is designed to deliver an aggregate...

AMC-9 satellite builder says ‘there’s absolutely no sign’ of an in-orbit breakup

  UPDATE SEPT. 19: ExoAnalytic Solutions, in response to this story, said: We stand by our previous video and data.  We will be releasing an enhanced video and a scientific paper this week at the AMOS [Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies  conference. PARIS — On June 17, the AMC-9 satellite owned by fleet operator SES suffered a sudden power loss that shut down its...

ArianeGroup lays out transition to Ariane 6, phase-out of Ariane 5 and Soyuz

PARIS — Europe’s ArianeGroup plans to launch just one new-generation Ariane 6 rocket in 2020 — the lighter-version Ariane 62 — and will wait until mid-2021 to start operations of the commercial workhorse, the heavier-lift Ariane 64, under a schedule presented to Ariane users. Under a scenario still susceptible to modification as Ariane 6 development clears its multiple milestones, the Ariane 64...

Seraphim Space Fund closes at $91M, invests in U.S., Finnish geospatial satellite companies

PARIS — With satellite fleet operator SES joining its investor team, Seraphim Capital passed the $90-million mark for its Seraphim Space Fund and closed it with the announcement of two initial investments in Spire Global and Iceye Oy. London-based Seraphim is no longer the outlier it appeared to be in 2015 when it first announced its intentions to use money from well-known space-industry players...

Interview: Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler

PARIS — Intelsat Chief Executive Stephen Spengler skipped the annual Euroconsult World Space Business Week conference — a Goldman Sachs conference took precedence — but his company nonetheless was a topic of conversation. The drama of Intelsat’s leverage — you’re welcome, private equity — and the weaknesses of a few other geo-satellite operators have put the industry on edge for a couple of...

Boeing wins SES contract to build second-generation O3b satellite constellation

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES has awarded Boeing a contract to build seven satellites as part of SES’s second-generation medium-Earth-orbit constellation, formerly known as O3b, according to industry officials. The selection of Boeing Satellite Systems International is a blow for O3b’s incumbent prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, which built all 12 O3b satellites...

U.S. regulators propose to relax satellite constellation in-service, coverage rules

PARIS — U.S. regulators propose to relax requirements for satellite constellations in non-geostationary orbit to give them more time to deploy their systems, and to permit networks that focus on specific geographic areas and do not cover all U.S. territory. But they remain undecided about how to accommodate high-altitude platforms The proposals, which the U.S. Federal Communications Commission...

22 startups, all with $1 million or more in the bank, selected as FinSpace Awards finalists

PARIS — Twenty-two startup space companies, each having raised $1 million or more, have been selected as finalists in competition for “most promising” in terms of growth opportunities, with the five winners to be announced Sept. 11. The FinSpace Awards, organized by the space-industry consultancy Euroconsult and Communications-Smart, a corporate communications company, will end with the five...

SES asks ITU to replace ‘one and done’ rule for satellite constellations with new system

PARIS — International regulators are weighing whether to tighten rules that permit owners of large satellite constellations to launch a single spacecraft to meet their in-service deadline, a policy seen as allowing an operator to block the use valuable radio spectrum for years without deploying its fleet. Satellite fleet operator SES, which is taking an active role in the regulatory debate, has...

Aerojet Rocketdyne: Do SpaceX and Blue Origin have pension plans?

PARIS — Aerojet Rocketdyne looks at SpaceX to its left and Blue Origin to its right and concludes: Freed of our Old Space/defense contractor fetters, many required by legislation, we could be like them. But it’s a long process, as company Chief Financial Officer Paul R. Lundstrom has been telling investors. The company is in the middle of a six-year Competitive Improvement Program whose goal is...

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