Thales Alenia Space
Eutelsat and Thales Alenia Space said Oct. 29 that they had signed a “letter of agreement” for the production of Eutelsat-10B, an all-electric satellite that will carry more capacity than its predecessor, Eutelsat-10A.
Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space abandoned plans to jointly compete to build Telesat’s low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation, setting up a now three-way race for a multibillion-dollar contract expected to be awarded soon.
Thales Alenia Space said Oct. 16 it will add 600 square meters of clean room space at its Tres Cantos, Madrid, facility to support the integration of telecom, navigation, Earth observation and science spacecraft.
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.
The global slowdown in geostationary satellite orders is dragging on longer than it expected, causing Thales Alenia Space revenues to contract.
The two new satellites will be situated in different geostationary orbital slots to operate in X, military Ka and UHF bands.
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.
Roberto Provera, Thales Alenia Space’s director of human spaceflight and transportation programs, said the company envisions having a servicing business by 2024 or 2025, and is currently in concept development.
Thales Alenia Space expects to sign a contract in upcoming months to build a communications satellite for Nepal, a Himalayan nation of 30 million with no domestic satellite operator.
As LeoStella inaugurated the factory that will be used to produce a series of Earth imaging satellites, the joint venture of Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries continues to look for other customers.
Companies competing to build hundreds of broadband satellites for Canadian fleet operator Telesat are considering setting up production facilities in Canada.
“For the first time since the initial launch of the system over 20 years ago, zero traffic is going through the old satellites,” Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium, said Feb. 6 at the National Press Club here.