Satellite fleet operator Intelsat kicked off the beginning of a partial constellation replenishment focused on replacing the company’s Galaxy line of satellites with a Jan. 8 order to Orbital ATK for the Galaxy-30 satellite.
Compared to the MEV-1, the MEV-2 will have new bells and whistles. It will be equipped to carry hosted payloads from commercial companies and small satellites that could be deployed for science missions.
Thales Alenia Space is partnering with three U.S. companies that are working on NASA studies of concepts for the proposed Deep Space Gateway, leveraging its expertise in space station and cargo module development.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 5 okayed the first part of a satellite-servicing mission Orbital ATK’s Space Logistic subsidiary has with Intelsat, saying the servicing vehicle can execute “rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking with the Intelsat-901” satellite while in a graveyard orbit.
As the National Security Space community implements resiliency and disaggregation, and as we take advantage of the rapid acceleration of technology, it appears we are moving toward smaller, shorter life, and more numerous satellite programs.
Satellite manufacturer Orbital ATK on Nov. 30 shipped Yahsat’s long-awaited Al Yah 3 high-throughput satellite to French Guiana for an Ariane 5 launch now scheduled for January.
After launching three of its last four Cygnus missions from Florida, Orbital ATK is planning to begin a string of cargo launches to the International Space Station on its Antares rocket with one now scheduled for Nov. 12.
As the deadline nears for an Air Force competition to fund development of new launch vehicles, Orbital ATK announced Nov. 7 what it called an “important milestone” for its proposed launcher.
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.
A new market for super high-speed weapons is fueling investments in rocket engine technologies.
Much is at stake for the space industry in how the Air Force proceeds with a “launch services agreement” that has been in the works for months. Bidders already have commented on an earlier draft request for proposals and are now awaiting the final RFP.
One concern is what implications this merger could have in ongoing efforts to modernize the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. Orbital ATK is one of two key suppliers of rocket motors that would power future ICBMs.
In contrast to the millions of cars and thousands of airplanes produced annually, satellites are produced in much lower numbers. Even OneWeb’s mega-constellation, doesn’t provide the scale needed to justify the upfront expense of automating assembly.