The forward-leaning technology arm of the U.S. Defense Department is betting that in just a few years, the business of sending robots to high orbit to repair and refresh satellites will be so successful that the government and the industry should now begin to discuss rules and protocols.
Brazilian satellite operator Embratel Star One today purchased a multiple-payload telecommunications satellite from Space Systems Loral, reflecting the company’s mixed feelings on adopting high-throughput Ka-band capacity.
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates completed its $2.4 billion purchase of DigitalGlobe Oct. 5, and will rebrand the combined company as Maxar Technologies.
The military is confident that its own spacecraft are tightly encrypted and unlikely to be taken down by hackers. It worries, however, about the vulnerability of commercial satellites that host military payloads.
A satellite that Spanish fleet operator Hispasat ordered in December 2014 largely to replace two Orbital ATK spacecraft has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a Proton launch in September.
Commercial satellite operators will probably order half as many geosynchronous satellites this year than usual, deepening a drought that has affected satellite manufacturers for the past two years, MDA Corp. President and CEO Howard Lance said July 28.
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Orbital ATK seeking to stop work on a DARPA satellite servicing program, concluding the company’s claims had no basis in federal law.
After scrapping an attempt at a satellite servicing business six years ago, MDA Corp. launched a new venture June 28 to repair and refuel satellites in orbit using a spacecraft it is building for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
It also announced a first customer for that satellite servicing system, with satellite operator SES entering into an agreement for an initial life extension mission with options for future missions.
Citing a long-term drought in satellite orders, Space Systems Loral has laid off a number of employees at its California satellite manufacturing facility, the company confirmed June 22.
Russia’s Proton rocket returned to service June 7, almost one year to the date from vehicle’s last flight, delivering a U.S. telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
DARPA program is an opportunity for the Pentagon to let industry lead experimental technology rather than try to adhere to strict requirements guidelines.
Australia’s state-owned National Broadband Network company has placed a satellite originally meant to be a spare into service to keep pace with ramping user demand, and says it has solved around 80 percent of the service issues that have plagued the satellite system since early 2016.
Space Systems Loral announced April 12 that it has completed an agreement with DARPA for a satellite servicing program that triggered a lawsuit from another company.
Satellite manufacturers are turning increasingly to additive manufacturing to reduce the cost and time required to design and build spacecraft.