SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO and President Mike Sievert will unveil how the two companies are working to increase connectivity on Thursday night. Details are vague, but it most likely involves cooperation between SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband network and T-Mobile’s cellular phone network.
The presentation will take place at 8 p.m. EDT from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in south Texas. The event will be livestreamed on SpaceX.com.
It was a relatively quiet week for launches with by SpaceX and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) both conducting one flight apiece.
SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Friday. The company has launched 3,108 Starlink satellites with 2,809 spacecraft working, according to Jonathan’s Space Report.
SpaceX is targeting Friday, August 19 for a Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is at 3:21 p.m. ET (19:21 UTC), and a backup opportunity is available on Saturday, August 20 at 2:59 p.m. ET (18:59 UTC).
The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, Nilesat 301, and three Starlink missions. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
CHICAGO & LONDON (OneWeb/Intelsat PR) — Leading satellite communications companies OneWeb and Intelsat have signed a global distribution partnership agreement to offer airlines a seamless inflight connectivity (IFC) solution with the best combination of performance, coverage, and reliability on the market. The partnership enables Intelsat to distribute OneWeb’s ground-breaking low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services to airlines worldwide, coupled with Intelsat’s extensive IFC experience and existing geo-stationary (GEO) satellite service. The result is a truly multi-orbit solution for the aviation community, leveraging the benefits of both networks.
By harnessing the power of multi-orbit capabilities, Intelsat will ensure airlines and their passengers are able to enjoy the best IFC, without compromise. Airlines and their passengers will no longer have to accept significant gaps in IFC coverage or capacity – even at busy hubs, across oceans, and over polar routes. Intelsat will seamlessly manage connectivity, allowing passengers to remain connected no matter where they are.
During the past week, SpaceX launched 98 Starlink satellites, a Chinese commercial launch provider made it three in a row, Russia launched a rideshare mission with an Iranian satellite aboard, and India’s new small satellite launcher fell just short of orbit.
There have been 103 orbital launches worldwide, with 99 successes and four failures.
Let’s take a closer look at the last week in launch.
Applicants Failed to Meet Program Requirements and Convince FCC to Fund Risky Proposals
WASHINGTON, August 10, 2022 (FCC PR) —The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is rejecting the long-form applications of LTD Broadband and Starlink to receive support through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program. The Commission determined that these applications failed to demonstrate that the providers could deliver the promised service. Funding these vast proposed networks would not be the best use of limited Universal Service Fund dollars to bring broadband to unserved areas across the United States, the Commission concluded.
“After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications. Consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” said Chairwoman [Jessica] Rosenworcel. “We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks. We cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements.”
Ambitious launch schedules typically go awry when a rocket suffers a catastrophic failure that takes months to investigate and implement modifications to ensure the same accident doesn’t happen again. In the majority of cases, the failures involve a machine launching a machine. All that can be replaced, albeit at substantial cost.
Russia’s ambitious launch plans for 2022 fell apart due to a far more momentous and deadly action: the nation’s invasion of Ukraine. The decision ruptured cooperation with the West on virtually every space project on which it was safe to do so. The main exception was the International Space Station (ISS), a program involving astronauts and cosmonauts that would be difficult to operate safely if Russia suddenly withdrew (as it indeed threatened to do).
Due to the invasion, Western partners canceled seven launches of foreign payloads in less than a month. The cancellations put Russia even further behind the United States and China in launch totals this year.
Powered by 33 flights of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, the United States leads all nations with 48 launch attempts through the first seven months of the year. The total is three short of the number of U.S. launches attempted last year, and far ahead of the 27 launches conducted by second place China through the end of July. The U.S. has conducted more launches than the 43 flights conducted by the rest of the world combined.
A number of notable flights were conducted. SpaceX launched two Crew Dragons to the International Space Station (ISS), including the first fully privately funded mission to the orbiting laboratory. United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched Boeing’s CST-100 Starship crew vehicle on an automated flight test to ISS, a crucial step before astronauts to fly on the spacecraft. Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab conducted its first deep-space mission by sending a spacecraft the size of a microwave to the moon.
On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.
There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Eutelsat and key OneWeb shareholders  sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to combining Eutelsat and OneWeb in an all-share transaction.
Eutelsat shareholders and OneWeb shareholders  would each hold 50% of the Eutelsat shares
Compelling financial profile with:
Potential for double-digit revenue and EBITDA CAGR over the medium to long term;
Eutelsat’s strong cash flow generation providing visibility and funding to support continued expansion into the LEO market through OneWeb’s next generation of satellites;
Over €1.5bn potential incremental value-creation after tax (net of implementation costs) stemming from revenue, capex and cost synergies.
Balanced board and governance structure, to include Eutelsat’s Chairman and its CEO, OneWeb’s Chairman, and a significant number of independent directors proposed by Eutelsat and OneWeb’s shareholders, at Extraordinary General Meeting.
Fully backed by a strong set of strategic shareholders of both entities, including Bpifrance and Fonds Stratégique de Participations who have undertaken to vote in favour of the transaction-related resolutions at this EGM, subject to usual conditions. CMA CGM, a shareholder of Eutelsat, is also supporting the combination.
Representing a transformational transaction, built on the strong foundations established in April 2021 with Eutelsat’s initial investment in OneWeb, this combination creates a global leader uniquely positioned to capture the Connectivity market with complementary GEO/LEO  offering.
Combined entity strongly positioned to address the fast-growing global Connectivity market.
The transaction values OneWeb at $3.4bn implying a value of €12 per Eutelsat share (including the dividend, before synergies).
Eutelsat to propose a €0.93 per share dividend with a scrip option in respect of FY 2021-22 at its upcoming AGM. Such dividend will not impact the exchange ratio.
Eutelsat will continue to be listed on Euronext Paris and apply for admission to standard listing on the London Stock Exchange.
PARIS, LONDON, 26 July 2022 (Eutelsat/OneWeb PR) – Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) and key OneWeb shareholders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of creating a leading global player in Connectivity through the combination of both companies in an all-share transaction. Eutelsat will combine its 36-strong fleet of GEO satellites with OneWeb’s constellation of 648 Low Earth Orbit satellites, of which 428 are currently in orbit.
PARIS (Eutelsat Communications PR) — Following recent market rumors, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) confirms that it has engaged in discussions with its co-shareholders in OneWeb regarding a potential all-share combination to create a global leader in Connectivity with complementary GEO/LEO activities.
The combined entity would be the first multi-orbit satellite operator offering integrated GEO and LEO solutions and would be uniquely positioned to address a booming ~$16bn (2030) Satellite Connectivity market. OneWeb is one of the two only global LEO networks and has experienced strong momentum over recent months, with service expected to be fully deployed in 2023.
SpaceX launches a fresh batch of 53 Starlink broadband satellites into orbit from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the company’s second launch of Starlink satellites in two days after a Falcon 9 placed 46 satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
It was SpaceX’s sixth launch of July and 20th dedicated Starlink flight of 2022. Elon Musk’s company has launched a record 33 times since Jan. 1 with more than five months left in the year. The company has orbited just under 1,250 payloads.
SpaceX Launches January – July 24, 2022
Number of Launches
Transporter-3, -4, -5
NASA, Axiom Space
NASA, Axiom Space
Cargo Dragon 2
BeaverCube, CapSat-1, CLICK A, D3, JAGSAT, TUMnanoSat
Technology Demonstration, Education
ERAU Daytona Beach, MIT, The Weiss School, University of South Alabama, Technical University of Moldova
Globalstar FM15, Nilesat-301, SES-22
Globalstar, Nilesat, SES
USA-328, 329, 330, 331
U.S. Department of Defense
NROL-87, Intruder 13A, Intruder 13B
Reconnaissance, Electronic Intelligence
National Reconnaissance Office
Bundeswehr (German Military)
Earth Observation (civilian/military)
Italian Space Agency
* 8 astronauts launched on Crew-4 and Ax-1 missions ^ 6 CubeSats flown on Cargo Dragon 2 to be deployed from ISS + Secondary payloads on Globalstar FM15 launch
SpaceX has launched 1,013 Starlink satellites this year and 2,911 spacecraft overall, with 2,620 satellites still working.
It was a busy first half of 2022 that saw 77 orbital launches with 74 successes and three failures through the 182nd day of the year on July 1. At a rate of one launch every 2 days 8 hours 44 minutes, the world is on track to exceed the 146 launches conducted in 2021.
A number of significant missions were launched during a period that saw more than 1,000 satellite launched. SpaceX flew the first fully commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Boeing conducted an orbital flight test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, China prepared to complete assembly of its space station, South Korea launched its first domestically manufactured rocket, and Rocket Lab sent a NASA mission to the moon.