In a surprise shift, Eutelsat Communications, a staunch defender of geostationary satellites as the way forward, on March 8 said it is buying a low Earth orbit (LEO) demonstration nanosatellite.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is selling off one of its business units to focus on the high-growth areas of satellite communications and drones.
Companies that collect data beamed down from small satellites say they expect partnerships and mergers will stem the rising number of new entrants offering ground station services in their market.
The number of small satellites launched in 2017 exceeded even the most optimistic forecasts, but continued growth of the market will require new companies to start deploying constellations in the next few years.
Virgin Orbit, which expects to debut the air-launched LauncherOne rocket by summer, signed a contract Jan. 16 with GomSpace to send eight nanosatellites into orbit next year to track airplanes and ships.
Spanish rocket startup PLD Space received 2 million euros ($2.4 million) from a European Commission grant program to further the development of a pair of launchers designed for small satellites.
Designers of Europe’s light-lift Vega rocket are creating a slew of new products intended to lure prospective customers away from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and to fend off the coming wave of launch startups that are developing dedicated rockets for cubesats and other small satellites.
The Italian Space Agency on Dec. 19 signed Sitael as the prime contractor for a new 200- kilogram small satellite line called Platino, meant to pair Italy’s strength in light launch with an aptly designed product.
Tekever, a Portugal-based company with business interests ranging from clean energy to defense and logistics, is pulling together a team of domestic companies and organizations to build the first made-in-Portugal satellite.
General Atomics is better known for building Predator combat drones and mining uranium than building spacecraft, but that could change as the company develops an interest in building defense-focused cubesats.
Iridium Communications, in the first of what the company signaled could be many similar partnerships with new smallsat operators, has announced a collaborative agreement with a startup to expand its offerings in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) market.
After the successful launch of two small imaging satellites last month, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is optimistic that it will find additional customers for satellites that it argues can match the performance of much larger spacecraft.
As the number of small satellites seeking launch continues to grow, new opportunities are emerging fly those satellites as secondary payloads on other launches as well as tools to identify those opportunities.
Italian small satellite builder Sitael has signed Virgin Orbit to send a technology demonstration satellite into low-Earth orbit next year.
A British small satellite manufacturer and a startup company are partnering on a mission to fly a series of smallsats carrying hosted payloads of varying sizes.