Astranis prototype completes testing • Viasat kicks off debt raise • Spaceflight signs SpaceX multi-launch agreement
Astranis, a startup specializing in small geostationary satellites, has completed thermal vacuum testing for a practice satellite.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission remains unconvinced that low Earth orbit satellite internet constellations are worth subsidizing through its $16 billion rural broadband program despite tweaking the rules for that program to give LEO constellations a better chance to qualify for funding.
Viasat says it is open to building a constellation of nearly 300 satellites in low Earth orbit if it can qualify for some of the $20.4 billion in broadband subsidies the U.S. Federal Communications Commission intends to dole out under the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund.
Roccor has completed radio frequency testing of the antenna scheduled for launch later this year on the satellite housing Viasat’s Link 16 military communications terminal.
The longtime chief executive of Ruag Space, Peter Guggenbach, is leaving to “take on a new challenge outside the company,” Ruag announced May 19.
What a tragic irony if continued access to space is lost as a consequence of lower launch and spacecraft costs. The U.S. is the global space leader and has more to lose than any other nation from diminished access. That’s why the FCC on April 23 is about to adopt new space safety rules for non-geosynchronous orbit (NGSO) satellites that minimize that possibility. The Commission should be applauded for their thorough work and conclusions.
Dutch launch broker Innovative Space Logistics and Firefly Aerospace signed a launch services agreement for launch opportunities on multiple Firefly Alpha missions starting this year.
Viasat says that co-building its ViaSat-3 satellites with Boeing has given the company experience it can leverage to multiply the capacity achievable with a next-generation ViaSat-4 system.
The Defense Department is trying to speed up access to innovative commercial technologies through a variety of contracting mechanisms like other transaction authority as well as pilot and pathfinder programs aimed at testing new technologies and system architectures.
Satellite operators want to participate in a newly proposed $20.4 billion rural broadband program, but say the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s scoring criteria for signal lag puts them at a disadvantage.
Viasat selected Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) to design and manufacture a cubesat for a U.S. Air Force test of a military communications terminal in low Earth orbit.
A ViaSat-4 series is in early development, extensively leveraging research and development on the 1-terabit-per-second or more ViaSat-3 satellites, Dankberg said during an earnings call.
Viasat is building out a network of nine ground stations around the world to downlink data from Earth observation satellites, marking an expansion from the operator’s satellite broadband and hardware business.