Arabsat 6a and Hellas-sat4
GEOShare, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, matches missions with orbital slots to help sell satellites. The satellites shown in this artist's rending, Arabsat 6a and Hellas-sat4, use the LM 2100 bus. Credit: Lockheed Martin

COLORADO SPRINGS — GEOShare, a Lockheed Martin Space Systems subsidiary that matches missions with orbital slots in an effort to boost satellite sales, has signed up over 150 missions and over 100 orbital locations, said Lon Levin, GEOShare president and chief executive.

“I joke that we are like the of the satellite world,” Levin told SpaceNews during the 34th Space Symposium here.

After working quietly on the venture for two years, Levin said he was speaking publicly about GEOShare because its future looks promising.

“We are very enthusiastic about the prospects now because people are calling us up to say, ‘Can you match me with someone else?’” said Levin, cofounder of XM Satellite Radio and president of SkySevenVentures, an investment and consulting firm.

GEOShare has two inventories. It signs up customers who want to send missions into orbit and customers with orbital slots they need to use. Then it matches the groups to create condosats with two, three or four missions sharing the cost of launch, insurance and the LM 2100 satellite bus.

Once the match is made, GEOShare arranges the launch, purchases the first year of insurance and delivers the satellite to the customer in orbit.  “We give them a turnkey solution,” Levin said.

Levin declined to say when the first GEOShare mission is likely to launch. “We are in active, advanced negotiations throughout the world,” he said. “It’s working because it’s the right place, right time.”

Geostationary communications satellite operators, facing volatility in the price of capacity, are looking for ways to save money and to operate more efficiently, Levin said. “This is one of the ways,” he added.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...