Thales Alenia Space is shedding around 6% of its workforce while rolling out a new line of reprogrammable satellites it says will benefit from an Iridium Next-style production.
Manufacturers say software-defined satellites that can redesign beams and capacity have shifted from a wish-list feature to a requirement for operators.
Boeing has joined the growing list of manufacturers offering smaller satellites for geostationary orbit, saying new digital payload technology can reduce the weight of its typical communications spacecraft by half.
The global slowdown in geostationary satellite orders is dragging on longer than it expected, causing Thales Alenia Space revenues to contract.
“The closure of this round is really allowing us to accelerate the ability to move into higher levels of production for these tip of the spear type of customers, and those are the space-related defense contractors.”
Op-ed | We can — and should — democratize the economy of space, from communications to deep space exploration
It's time to rethink manufacturability and seriously consider “pop-up” manufacturing, an on-site manufacturing center brought to customer hubs.