SES said it would jump into the market for offering global broadband communications from a low-orbiting constellation if the latest efforts announced by SpaceX, Google, Virgin Group and Qualcomm show signs of proving themselves.
SpaceX’s Jan. 20 confirmation that Google and mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments had invested a combined $1 billion in SpaceX set the stage for what could be a multi-year competition for capital and engineering resources among consortia aiming to build satellite networks for global Internet connectivity.
The International Telecommunication Union has registered at least a half-dozen filings for massive constellations in the past eight weeks, a development that suggests a Gold Rush mentality may be taking hold.
United Launch Alliance is evaluating a proposal to purchase as many as 30 more RD-180 engines for its Atlas 5 rocket despite a congressionally imposed ban on using the Russian-built hardware in its primary national security market.
Planet Labs, the Earth-imaging firm that has built and deployed scores of tiny remote-sensing satellites during the past two years, has raised $95 million it will use to expand operations, step us sales and marketing, and grow product and application offerings.
Airbus Defence and Space said its space division’s success in 2014 will allow the company to spare about 600 jobs that had been scheduled to disappear as part of a drive for savings in the search for higher operating margins.
SES and ITC Global have forged an alliance to provide connectivity to oil and gas industry clients and have signed an unidentified oil company as the inaugural customer.