The British government and Indian mobile network operator Bharti Global placed a winning bid to acquire OneWeb, a broadband megaconstellation startup that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March after running out of funding, OneWeb said July 3.
With OneWeb’s drive to cover the globe with hundreds of mass-produced satellites halted by last month’s Chapter 11 filing, some of the bankrupt megaconstellation’s component suppliers are looking to repurpose the investments they made in expanded manufacturing capabilities.
Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, said Airbus, the satellite’s manufacturer, asked to switch from Vega to Soyuz to avoid further delays getting Falcon Eye 2 into orbit.
Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo said during a Nov. 7 earnings call, said Vega is on track for a return to flight by March, though what payload will launch on the mission is still to be determined.
As operators of Earth observation satellites prepare to update their fleets, with an emphasis on both improved resolution and revisit time, they disagree on how much demand there is for existing and new data.
Airbus and the French Space Agency CNES have agreed to cofinance a constellation of four Earth observation satellites while leaving the door open for Airbus to finance additional satellites with other partners.
Regardless of whether the Airbus-OneWeb joint venture gearing up to crank out dozens of satellites a month ultimately builds just 648 satellites or closer to the 900 originally envisioned, OneWeb’s constellation is the first such project large enough to truly incorporate aviation-style mass production procedures for spacecraft.
Commercial satellite technology is developing so fast, Britain’s Ministry of Defense isn’t certain its next-generation program will keep pace with what the future holds.
The chief executive of Airbus used an international space conference to call for reforms in how Europe manages and funds space activities in order to better compete on the global market.
The first European-built service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is finally ready to be shipped to the United States for final preparations before a scheduled mid-2020 launch.
As satellite manufacturers grapple with what increasingly looks like a permanent decline in the number of commercial geostationary communications satellites purchased worldwide, one offered hope that a partial rebound will ensue in the coming years.
Descartes Labs announced Aug. 15 a partnership with Airbus to feed high resolution global imagery into its geospatial data platform. The Sante Fe, New Mexico-based startup also completed beta testing of its cloud-based “data refinery,” and added weather data.
Eutelsat will replace a trio of satellites with two larger all-electric satellites from Airbus Defence and Space, company officials said Wednesday.
Telesat awarded a second constellation design contract Aug. 1, choosing Airbus Defence and Space to begin studies on the company’s proposed system of 117 low Earth orbit communications satellites.