Telesat plans to use an 85 million Canadian dollar ($64.7 million) investment by the government of Canada on the first dozen satellites of its low Earth orbit broadband constellation.
The Army is pondering broader use of low-cost satellites for tactical applications.
The Canadian government is investing 85 million Canadian dollars ($64.7 million) into research and development for Telesat’s broadband satellite constellation, and has agreed to spend up to 600 million Canadian dollars ($456.6 million) more on capacity.
The buzzword in military space these days is “proliferated LEO,” which is Pentagon-speak for large numbers of small satellites in low Earth orbit.
Loft Orbital, a company preparing a constellation to carry payloads for customers who don’t want to operate their own satellites, has filled up its first satellite and booked a January 2020 launch through Spaceflight Industries.
Cloud Constellation CEO Cliff Beek said LeoStella, a joint venture of Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries, beat Northrop Grumman on price, among other factors.
If outer space is the "final frontier," the private commercialization of low Earth orbit — about 100-1,200 miles up — could become the new Wild West if we're not careful.
OneWeb founder Greg Wyler says a self-funded side project of his has developed an antenna module costing $15, paving the way for OneWeb user terminals priced between $200 and $300.
While an unprecedented number of satellites brings with them important benefits to humanity, we must be careful to proceed responsibly and minimize the potential for harming the low Earth orbit (LEO) environment for generations to come.
Spacecraft manufacturers have complained of stress on their supplier base as operators purchase fewer traditional geostationary satellites. One company in France is bucking that trend, however.
Satellite fleet operator Telesat says the desired size of its future low Earth orbit broadband constellation is more than twice the number of satellites authorized by U.S. regulators, and could ultimately scale to 512 spacecraft.
Startups Kepler Communications and Phasor said Sept. 10 that they successfully demonstrated a link between Kepler’s cubesat and a Phasor flat panel antenna.
In an effort to cut launch costs, companies are looking to technology to transport small satellites from low Earth orbit to geostationary orbit and to the moon.
China’s state-owned fleet operator is making forward-leaning investments in high-throughput satellites and low-Earth-orbit constellations without worrying, at least initially, about whether these projects are backed by sound business plans.