Iridium and OneWeb Announce Collaboration
On September 17, Iridium Communications Inc. (Iridium) and OneWeb announced that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of a combined low Earth orbit service offering, which may include certain products, including ground equipment that is compatible with both operators' constellations, as well as collaborative commercial or operational solutions. The new offering is expected to bring together Iridium's L-band service and OneWeb's Ku-band service for a variety of applications, including heads of state communications, critical tactical services, disaster response and maritime, among others.
September Investment Round-Up
September 4 - Astrocast S.A. (Astrocast) announced that it raised 9m Swiss francs as part of its Series A funding round with participation from both new and existing investors, bringing to 16.6m Swiss francs the total amount of funding raised by the company since it was established in 2014. Astrocast plans to use the new funds to manufacture and deploy its planned IoT satellite constellation, which the company announced will now feature 80 satellites rather than the 64 satellites originally contemplated.
September 25 - Spire Global, Inc. announced that it raised $40m through a Series D funding round led by funds managed by Global Public Offering Fund, Itochu Group and Mitsui Global Investment and that it received a $18.24m grant from Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's national economic development agency.
CFIUS and Team Telecom Greenlight Inmarsat Takeover
On September 18, Inmarsat plc (Inmarsat) and Connect Bidco Limited (Bidco) announced that, on September 16, each of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and Team Telecom provided notice that it had concluded its review of Bidco's contemplated acquisition of Inmarsat and that it did not have unresolved concerns or objections to the acquisition, subject to certain conditions. The parties continue to expect the acquisition to close during Q4 2019.
Eutelsat Announces New Constellation for IOT Market
On September 24, Eutelsat S.A. announced plans to develop the Eutelsat LEO for Objects, or ELO, constellation, which will include up to 25 satellites and will target the IOT market with service offerings for the transmission of data and the processing of signals by sensors and smart devices worldwide.
EchoStar Completes Spin-Off and Merger of BSS Business
On September 10, EchoStar Corporation (EchoStar) announced the completion of the spin-off and merger with DISH Network Corporation (DISH) of the portion of EchoStar's Satellite Services Division that manages and provides broadcast satellite services primarily to DISH, including nine satellites, as originally announced in May of this year.
Eutelsat Leaves C-Band Alliance
On September 3, Eutelsat S.A. announced its decision to withdraw from the C-Band Alliance, a collective that continues to count SES S.A., Intelsat S.A. and Telesat as members and works to advance their interests in the U.S. C-band market in relation to deployment of 5G services across North America.
September Satellite Procurement Activity
September 18 - HawkEye360, Inc. announced that it selected the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory to provide the satellite platform, and to integrate the new radio frequency payload developed by HawkEye 360, Inc., for each of its next-generation satellites.
September 24 - Eutelsat S.A. (Eutelsat) announced that it selected AAC Clyde Space to supply two cubesats and Loft Orbital Solutions Inc. to build and fly data-transfer payloads on two shared smallsats. Eutelsat plans to use the cubesats and payloads to assess market conditions for its ELO constellation.
September Launch Orders and Missions
September 9 - SES S.A. (SES) announced that it selected Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to launch the seven satellites that will comprise the initial O3b mPOWER system, SES' next-generation medium Earth orbit constellation, through two launch missions in 2021 using the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
September 11 - Relativity Space Inc. (Relativity) announced that it was selected by Momentus Space (Momentus) to launch Momentus' small customer satellites and its Vigoride spacecraft, which will transport customer satellites from low Earth orbit to geostationary orbit using proprietary water plasma thruster technology, on the Terran 1 launch vehicle in 2021. Relativity's agreement with Momentus includes options for up to five additional launch services.
September 19 - A Long March 11 launch vehicle orbited five Zhuhai-1 commercial remote sensing constellation satellites manufactured by the Harbin Institute of Technology for Zhuhai Orbita Aerospace Science & Technology Co., Ltd.