Satellite fleet operator SES’s $75 million investment in O3b Networks in November 2009 looked at the time like a weekend hobby — enough to save the life of O3b, but not enough to damage SES if O3b crashed and burned.
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.
SES said it would jump into the market for offering global broadband communications from a low-orbiting constellation if the latest efforts announced by SpaceX, Google, Virgin Group and Qualcomm show signs of proving themselves.
A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket placed four O3b Networks high-throughput Ka-band broadband satellites into O3b’s unique 8,000-kilometer-altitude orbit, giving O3b a bigger margin for error as it manages its constellation.
Four O3b Networks broadband satellites are likely to be launched in mid-December aboard a Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket.
The decision to switch off the two satellites will increase the likelihood that O3b, which now has eight satellites in orbit, will be able to maintain the necessary six spacecraft in operation while waiting for its next four satellites to launch in early 2015, officials said.
A Soyuz rocket placed four O3b Networks Ka-band broadband satellites into their unusual medium Earth orbit in the second of three planned four-satellite launches for the company.
Being back in the private sector hasn’t stopped Griffin from voicing opinions about NASA’s human spaceflight program.
SES is threatening to cease future dealings with Arianespace unless SES’s O3b Networks broadband satellites are given a spring launch slot also coveted by the European Commission for the commission’s Galileo spacecraft.
News from Satellite 2014 | O3B Sets Sail with New Service Amid Questions about Constellation’s Health
O3b Networks said it is going live with its first customer, Telecom Cook Islands, and has completed testing with luxury-cruise operator Royal Caribbean.
O3b Networks says the move brings it a step closer to the start of service in 2014.
The four O3b broadband satellites that missed their scheduled September launch following discovery of a suspected component defect will be the subject of a design review the week of Nov. 4 that should enable repairs to be made in time for a March launch.
The Sept. 30 launch of 03b's second group of satellites was called off because of a signal power anomaly on the first four satellites.
At least two of the four in-orbit satellites owned by startup broadband provider O3b Networks have exhibited minor power anomalies on their payloads.
O3b's planned Sept. 30 launch of four satellites has been delayed until early 2014.