Satellite owners and insurance underwriters who have booked or insured launches aboard Russia’s Proton rocket in the coming months have little choice but to stick with the rocket despite the fact that the vehicle’s May 16 failure was its fourth since mid-2012.
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.
“It’s often a cliché, but transformation starts with a dramatic culture change. When I was in government and planning and programming for future Air Force Systems, many of today's advanced commercial options were unavailable," writes Intelsat General Corp.’s Myland Pride. “Those options are available now.”
An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket carrying Mexico’s Centenario mobile communications satellite failed about eight minutes and 10 seconds after liftoff May 16 in what early reports said was a problem with the rocket’s third stage.
Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat on May 12 said downward pressure on its U.S. Defense Department business is longer-lasting than expected and that the struggles of its Russian television customers is also weighing on results.
The two commercial geostationary-orbit telecommunications satellites launched March 1 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket — a launch that debuted a new all-electric satellite design by Boeing — are expected to reach their final orbits at least a month ahead of schedule, their owners said.
Satellite fleet operator Avanti Communications Group on May 12 said its three-satellite fleet, principally the Hylas 1 and Hylas 2 satellites launched in November 2010 and August 2012, were between 15 percent and 20 percent full during the three months ending March 31.
Mobile satellite services provider Globalstar Inc. has been spared a portion of what is still likely to be a challenging cash call in 2015 following the agreement by ground-network provider Hughes to take payment in Globalstar stock.
EchoStar Corp. on May 7 said its EchoStar 19/Jupiter 2 Ka-band broadband satellite, designed to relieve demand pressure on EchoStar’s Hughes consumer satellite broadband service, would not be launched until late 2016.
Satellite fleet operator SES on April 30 said demand for capacity from the O3b Networks constellation of medium-Earth-orbit Ka-band broadband satellites is accelerating faster than expected and that SES may move to become a majority shareholder before the end of 2016.
Intelsat on April 30 reported declines in revenue, gross profit and backlog for the three months ending March 31, saying the results were in line with forecasts and that the company can do little but count the days until its new satellites are launched.
Iridium said it would ask its creditors to ease launch insurance requirements as the company prepares to deliver 72 satellites to orbit in the next 30 months.
The Saudi Arabian government’s two-satellite purchase order with Lockheed Martin is the latest in a series of international satellite contracts where the buyer insists on help creating a domestic satellite industry.
Satellite fleet operator Arabsat of Saudi Arabia on April 28 said it had entered into contracts valued at $650 million with satellite builder Lockheed Martin Space Systems and launch provider Arianespace for the construction of two satellites and the launch of one of them in 2018.