The planned July 8 Ariane 5 launch of a European meteorological satellite together with a Brazilian telecommunications spacecraft has been postponed for at least several days to examine possible oil contamination of one of the satellites, industry officials said July 3.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank, as expected, closed its doors to new business July 1 following the U.S. Congress’s inability to renew bank authorization, but said all existing loans and guarantees will be maintained and carried to their maturity.
Spire, a company developing a constellation of cubesats to provide weather data to commercial and government customers, announced June 30 it has raised $40 million to complete work on the satellites and begin launching them later this year.
A NASA program originally established to provide suborbital flights for experiments is now expanding its scope to include development of key technologies for the vehicles themselves.
The June 28 failure of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is almost certain to deal a blow to the revenue projections of numerous SpaceX commercial customers that had been basing their results on being in orbit this year or early in 2016.
OneWeb announced $500 million in equity coming from Indian and Mexican telecommunications providers, ground segment builders, the satellite prime contractor and even from an ostensible competitor in satellite fleet operator Intelsat. Intelsat will now be a OneWeb partner, with the two companies sharing customers and spectrum.
Arianespace won the largest commercial launch contract ever signed — a $1-billion-plus deal to launch between 650 and 720 of OneWeb LLC’s low-orbiting satellites aboard Russian Soyuz rockets — by offering launch bases both at Europe’s spaceport in South America and Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, OneWeb and Arianespace officials said June 25.
Virgin Galactic’s deal for 39 launches of OneWeb satellites is the company’s first contract for its LauncherOne system, its chief executive said June 25.
The developer of the SpyMeSat mobile app that allows users to custom order satellite imagery from their phones is looking to contract with another satellite operator this fall.
Start-up satellite Internet provider OneWeb LLC, in a move that will quiet, if not silence its doubters, on June 25 announced that it had raised $500 million in equity from sources as varied as Indian telecommunications network provider Bharti Enterprises, Coca-Cola and cellular network operator Totalplay Telecommunications Inc. of Mexico.
The projected increase in the launch of small satellites, particularly cubesats, has raised new concerns about the growth of orbital debris, despite statements by ventures developing such satellites that they will be responsible citizens in low Earth orbit.
PlanetiQ announced June 24 that it has selected a Colorado company to build its planned constellation of small satellites to provide weather data, with the first satellites to be launched in late 2016.