Space 

Effective Space signs first contract for satellite life extension services

WASHINGTON — Effective Space, a U.K.-headquartered company developing spacecraft to extend the life of communications satellites, announced Jan. 17 that it has signed its first contract with an undisclosed customer. Effective Space said the contract, with a “major regional satellite operator,” covers the launch of two of its Space Drone satellite life extension vehicles in 2020, which will dock with two of the customer’s existing satellites to provide stationkeeping and attitude control capabilities. The company said the multi-year contract has a total value of more than $100 million. In an…

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Space 

Ariane 5 down to two dozen launches before Ariane 6 takes over

WASHINGTON — European launch provider Arianespace expects to conduct just 23 more Ariane 5 launches before the next-generation Ariane 6 becomes its primary rocket. The final Ariane 5s will launch between 2020 and 2022, overlapping with the first three years of Ariane 6 missions. Arianespace ordered the final 10 Ariane 5 boosters Jan. 9, placing a billion-plus euro contract with ArianeGroup to build the rockets while spinning up the first Ariane 6 rockets. Currently a mainstay of the space launch sector, the Ariane 5 has launched 96 times since debuting…

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Space 

Cambodia to buy Chinese satellite as relations tighten on Belt and Road Initiative

WASHINGTON —  China Great Wall Industry Corp. landed a new satellite order Jan. 11 on the back of a bilateral meeting between Chinese and Cambodian officials that included an agreement to increase trade between the two countries. The Chinese satellite manufacturer inked a “framework agreement” with the Royal Group of Cambodia, an investment firm with companies in transportation, telecommunications and other fields, to build and launch a communications satellite called Techo-1. CGWIC will also provide the launch, ground systems, arrange insurance and facilitate technology transfer for its Cambodian customer. The…

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Space 

In space and cyber, China is closing in on the United States

“China’s satellite manufacturing industry is growing at an alarming rate,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Co. WASHINGTON — It should be no surprise that China is moving to challenge the United States for dominance in space, cyber, artificial intelligence and other key technologies that have wide national security applications. But the question that is still being debated is whether the United States is taking this threat seriously. This may not be a Sputnik moment, but the United States could soon be unpleasantly surprised as China continues to shore up its domestic…

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Space 

SN Military.Space | What happened to Zuma? – Budget standoff continues – Big week for Orbital ATK

You’re reading the SN Military.Space newsletter we publish Tuesdays. If you would like to get our news and insights for military space professionals before everyone else, sign up here for your free subscription.  Hot Topic: What happened to Zuma? Something appears to have gone seriously wrong with the secret government mission, code-named Zuma, that SpaceX launched Sunday night. Exactly what, however, is far from clear. But if SpaceX keeps launching in the days and weeks ahead, we will be fairly sure Falcon 9 isn’t to blame for what went wrong. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed…

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Space 

Intelsat begins Galaxy fleet refresh with Orbital ATK satellite order

WASHINGTON — Satellite fleet operator Intelsat kicked off the beginning of a partial constellation replenishment focused on replacing the company’s Galaxy line of satellites with a Jan. 8 order to Orbital ATK for the Galaxy-30 satellite. Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK will build Galaxy-30 in anticipation of an early 2020 launch with a yet-to-be-named launch provider. In a prepared statement, Intelsat’s senior vice president of space systems Ken Lee said the Galaxy-30 satellite “will be the 11th satellite Orbital ATK has built for Intelsat, and represents the first satellite in the…

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Space 

Orbital ATK lands second Intelsat satellite servicing deal

Orbital ATK’s Tom Wilson: ‘We’ve got interest from across the industry in additional vehicles’ WASHINGTON — Orbital ATK almost two years ago struck a groundbreaking deal with Intelsat to add years of service life to an aging communications satellite. The companies on Thursday announced they are solidifying their partnership with a second contract to service another satellite. Orbital’s first “mission extension vehicle” known as MEV-1 is scheduled to launch later this year on a Proton rocket from International Launch Services. In a vote of confidence, Intelsat has signed an order…

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Space 

Former Thuraya CEO leaves OneWeb for Intelsat

WASHINGTON — Samer Halawi is leaving satellite internet startup OneWeb after less than a year to join Intelsat in a newly created executive position. Halawi stepped down as CEO of Dubai-based satellite operator Thuraya in March to become chief commercial officer at OneWeb, which at the time was still pursuing a merger with Intelsat. The merger collapsed in June after Intelsat was unable to convince creditors to go along with a debt swap that was a precondition for the deal.   Six months later, Halawi is set to join Intelsat…

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Space 

SpaceX to skip first stage landing for upcoming Iridium launch

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — In a break from its now-standard practice, SpaceX will not attempt a landing of the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on its next launch this week, the company confirmed Dec. 19. A SpaceX spokesperson said that the company is not planning to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 that is launching a fourth set of 10 Iridium Next satellites Dec. 22 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company carried a successful static fire test of the booster at the pad Dec.…

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Space 

SpaceX takes top honors in SpaceNews Awards for Excellence & Innovation

WASHINGTON — SpaceNews established the Awards for Excellence & Innovation to honor the well-known champions and the unsung heroes shaping the global space industry. We endeavored to celebrate headline-grabbing breakthroughs as well as outside-the-limelight innovations.  We made our selections after an open nomination process that concluded with a reader poll. The winners listed below were honored during an awards luncheon held Dec. 19 at the City Club of Washington. The luncheon was organized in partnership with the Washington Space Business Roundtable. A special thanks to Cobham for sponsoring this year’s SpaceNews awards.…

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