OCTOBER M&A ROUND-UP
October 14 - Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies, Inc. announced that they agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction valued at $34b and expected to close in mid-2019, producing a combined company L3 Harris Technologies, Inc. that is projected to be the 6th largest defense company in the United States.
October 31 - Planetary Resources, Inc. announced that it was acquired by blockchain venture production studio ConsenSys, Inc. in an asset-purchase transaction, the specific terms of which were not disclosed.
ARIANESPACE SOYUZ ON TRACK
On October 30, Arianespace S.A. (Arianespace) announced that its Soyuz mission planned for November 7 will proceed without delay despite the October 11 failure of a crewed Russian Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities investigators concluded that the recent launch failure was caused by a sensor in the booster package that was damaged during final assembly of the launch vehicle at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Crewed Russian Soyuz missions to the ISS are now set to resume, with the next launch scheduled for December 3.
OCTOBER LAUNCH SERVICES
October 7 - Space Exploration Technologies Corp. successfully launched the SAOCOM 1A satellite for Argentina's space agency, the National Commission on Space Activities, on a reusable Falcon 9 launch vehicle and recovered the Falcon 9's first stage at Vandenberg Air Force Base, marking the company's first West Coast land recovery. Equipped with an L-band synthetic aperture radar polarimetric instrument, SAOCOM 1A will gather soil moisture information.
October 15 - China successfully launched two BDS-3 navigation satellites on a Long March-3B launch vehicle. Developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the satellites join 38 other BDS satellites already on orbit, including 14 from the BDS-3 family.
October 29 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. successfully launched the KhalifaSat satellite for the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 satellite for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on an H-IIA launch vehicle.
OCTOBER INVESTMENT ROUND-UP
October 10 - Boeing announced that Boeing HorizonX Ventures, its venture capital arm, and Gettylab LLC invested in Accion Systems Inc., a Boston-based startup developing scalable electric propulsion technology with the aim of increasing lifespan and maneuverability of satellites and other space vehicles.
October 19 - Microsatellite launch services provider Vector Launch, Inc. announced that it raised $70m in a Series B investment round led by new investor Kodem Growth Partners LLC and by Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners LP, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures.
October 31 - Astroscale Pte. Ltd. (Astroscale), announced that it raised $50m through its Series D funding round, bringing the total amount of capital raised by the company thus far to $102m. The Series D investors were led by INCJ Ltd. and included funds operated by SBI Investment Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd. Founded in 2013 and based in Singapore, Astroscale is developing a low-Earth-orbit space debris removal service to secure long-term spaceflight safety. The company is currently working on its first demonstration mission, ELSA-d, which is scheduled for launch in early 2020.
ROCKET LAB ANNOUNCEMENTS
On October 12, Rocket Lab Ltd. (Rocket Lab) announced the opening of a new production facility in Auckland, New Zealand. The combined capacity of this new facility and the company's existing factory in Huntington Beach, California will enable Rocket Lab to manufacture one Electron launch vehicle each week. On October 17, Rocket Lab announced that it selected the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as its second dedicated launch complex and first launch site in the United States, adding to its existing and original launch site in New Zealand.
OCTOBER LAUNCH SERVICES ORDERS
October 16 - Sweden-based Ovzon AB, a provider of satellite-based mobility broadband services, announced that it selected Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to launch its first satellite on a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle no earlier than Q4 2020.
October 25 - Viasat Inc. selected SpaceX to launch one of its three planned ViaSat-3 satellites on a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle sometime between 2020 and 2022.