PARIS — A U.S. bankruptcy court’s May 22 decision to allow Lockheed Martin to cancel a satellite construction contract with a near-penniless customer — startup satellite operator NewSat of Australia — has handed the U.S. and French export-credit agencies their first satellite industry failure.
For the Space Data Association, strength lies in numbers — the more satellite operators join the international data-sharing cooperative, the more valuable its collision-avoidance and interference-mitigation services become.
Mobile services, including data to aircraft, constitute the fastest-growing segment of the global satellite services industry, posting a 25 percent increase in sales for 2014, according to a new report from the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), a trade group here.
Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket on May 27 successfully delivered two direct-broadcast television satellites into transfer orbit for DirecTV in the vehicle’s 65th consecutive success and the second of six missions planned for 2015.
Spaceport America, the commercial launch site in New Mexico most closely linked to Virgin Galactic, is seeking to diversify its user base beyond launch companies, an effort that has already resulted in one new customer.
Arab nations are willing to cede to terrestrial mobile telecommunications operators some of the spectrum now reserved for satellite links at an upcoming meeting of global regulators, the chairman of the regional grouping of Arab spectrum experts said May 26.
Telesat of Canada, Hispasat of Spain and YahSat of the United Arab Emirates on May 26 were the high bidders at a Brazil auction of satellite orbital slots and associated frequencies, winning four licenses at three orbital slots, according to Brazil’s telecommunications regulator, Anatel.
NASA announced the selection of nine instruments it plans to fly on a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa May 26, but agency officials were vague about whether the instruments, or the overall mission, could meet an aggressive schedule sought by some in Congress.
Steven Clarke will take over as director of NASA’s roughly $600 million heliophysics division effective June 1, the agency said.
The chairman of small-satellite pioneer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) on May 26 said market enthusiasm for small satellites may have gone too far, with satellite development accelerating beyond sustainable business models.
The willingness of United Launch Alliance’s parent companies to fund a next-generation rocket hinges on winning relief from the ban on the Russian-made engine that powers its current government workhorse, the Atlas 5.
The space agency wants to avoid a repeat of what has happened with two of its Earth Explorer missions, ADM-Aeolus and EarthCare.
The Indian government’s Union Cabinet on May 21 approved a budget of $484 million to build and launch 15 PSLV rockets between 2017 and 2020, meeting a demand for 4-5 launches per year “with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts,” according to the office of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
The House of Representatives passed a bill with a number of commercial space policy provisions May 21, despite objections from some Democratic members about the bill’s language and warnings that the Senate is unlikely to adopt it.