SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launches 53 Starlink Satellites

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink broadband satellites. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites equipped with crosslink laser communications systems into orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Saturday morning.

The laser communications systems will allow for faster transmission of data. SpaceX normally launches 60 Starlink satellites at a time, but the laser systems appear to make the satellites heavier.

It was the first Starlink launch since May. SpaceX has launched 1,791 Starlink satellites, with 1,666 in orbit and 1,643 currently functioning, according to Jonathan’s Space Report.

The Falcon 9’s first stage landed on an off-shore drone ship. It was the ninth launch and landing of this first stage, which previously launched Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-11, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and five Starlink missions.

OneWeb and Leonardo DRS Announce Partnership to Offer Low Earth Orbit Service for the U.S. Department of Defense

LONDON (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, and Leonardo DRS, a leading innovator in communications, defense, and security, announced today a new partnership to jointly offer LEO service for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Supported by a global network of gateways and user terminals, OneWeb’s global connectivity platform will provide high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity to expand Leonardo DRS’ state-of-the-art information and technology solution systems, products and technologies to support military and government markets. The partnership will enable expanded connectivity to offer versatile, agile, and capable U.S. government mission support throughout the United States and overseas.

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Astra Space Applies to Launch More than 13,000 Satellites; Proposed Broadband Constellations Exceed 79,000 Spacecraft

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Astra Space has applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the launch more than 13,000 communications satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), joining SpaceX, OneWeb, Amazon and other companies seeking to provide broadband services across the globe. The application brings the number of proposed satellites in these constellations to more than 79,000.

“The Astra Constellation as proposed would ultimately consist of as many as 13,620 operational LEO satellites, supported by a global network of gateway earth stations utilizing the identified V-band frequency bands for feeder links for space-to-earth transmit and receive,” the company’s application said.

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BT Secures Industry First Global Partnership with OneWeb

  • BT signs landmark agreement for OneWeb low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network and connectivity services 
  • Tests to integrate LEO satellite services across consumer and business divisions to create added value for customer, with first trials expected in early 2022 
  • The agreement between the two British-headquartered companies will support UK Government’s National Space Strategy and spans BT’s global footprint 
  • Satellite services form a component of BT’s vision to enable digital solutions anywhere in the UK by 2028

LONDON, 2 November 2021 (OneWeb PR) — BT and OneWeb have agreed terms for a new Distribution Partner Agreement, with OneWeb to provide low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication services across BT Group.* This builds on an initial Memorandum of Understanding signed in July and means BT is testing how LEO satellite technology integrates with its existing terrestrial capabilities to meet the communications needs of customers. On successful completion, BT will commence the first live trials with customers from early next year. The partnership will span a growing range of connectivity solutions around the world as well as specific opportunities for the U.K. market.

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FCC Authorizes Boeing’s 132 Satellite Broadband Constellation

WASHINGTON, November 3, 2021 (FCC PR) — The Federal Communications Commission today approved an application from The Boeing Company for a license to construct, deploy, and operate a satellite constellation. As detailed in its FCC application, Boeing plans to provide broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and professional users in the United States and globally.

“Advanced satellite broadband services have an important role to play in connecting hard-to-serve communities,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We are committed to a careful and detailed review of all such applications and I thank the International Bureau team for their work completing this first round of NGSO applications.”

Today’s Order approves Boeing’s application for non-geostationary orbit fixed-satellite service system using frequencies in portions of the V-band (the 37.5-40, 40-42, 47.2-50.2 and 50.4-51.4 GHz bands), and to operate inter-satellite links (ISLs) using frequencies in portions of the V-band (65-71 GHz band). It also dismisses Boeing’s request to operate ISLs in certain frequency bands that are not allocated internationally for operations of the FSS in the space-to-space direction in the ITU Radio Regulations.

Project Kuiper Announces Plans and Launch Provider for Prototype Satellites

RS-1 rocket (Credit: ABL Space)

Amazon’s Project Kuiper will launch two satellites by Q4 2022 on ABL Space Systems’ all-new RS1 rocket.

SEATTLE (Amazon PR) — Amazon continues to make progress on Project Kuiper, a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation that will provide fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world. This is a major, long-term initiative, and today we’re excited to share plans to launch and deploy our first satellites.

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NEOM Tech & Digital Holding Company and OneWeb Sign $200 Million Joint Venture for Satellite Network

  • OneWeb Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to service NEOM, the Kingdom and MEA, transforming connectivity to businesses and rural communities
  • High-speed connectivity will be a vital enabler of groundbreaking ecosystem of cognitive technologies

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, 26 October 2021 (OneWeb PR) — NEOM Tech & Digital Holding Company – the first holding company to be established as a subsidiary of NEOM – and OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, have signed a $200 million (SAR 750m) joint venture agreement to bring high-speed satellite connectivity to NEOM, Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and neighboring East African countries.

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5G + LEO: Verizon and Project Kuiper Team Up to Develop Connectivity Solutions

  • Strategic collaboration aims to pair Verizon’s terrestrial mobile network with Amazon’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network, Project Kuiper.
  • Project Kuiper to deliver cellular backhaul solutions to extend Verizon’s 4G/LTE and 5G data networks, connecting rural and remote communities in the U.S.
  • Verizon and Project Kuiper to explore joint connectivity solutions for domestic and global enterprises across agriculture, energy, manufacturing, education, emergency response, transportation and other industries.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (Verizon PR) — Today, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Project Kuiper, an advanced low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced a strategic collaboration to develop connectivity solutions for unserved and underserved communities. As part of the collaboration, Project Kuiper and Verizon have begun to develop technical specifications and define preliminary commercial models for a range of connectivity services for U.S. consumers and global enterprise customers operating in rural and remote locations around the world.

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With Flight ST36, Arianespace Sets a New Mark; More than Half of OneWeb Constellation Now Successfully Deployed

Soyuz rocket lifts off with 36 Starlink satellites on Oct. 14, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

– Arianespace has successfully performed Soyuz Flight ST36. This latest launch for OneWeb’s placed 36 more satellites into orbit.
– ST36 represents an important step in OneWeb and Arianespace’s partnership: the operator now has more than half, 358 satellites, of its constellation on orbit.
– ST36 is the 10th launch of Arianespace in 2021.

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — Performed on Thursday, October 14 at precisely 6:40 pm. local time at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome (9:40 a.m. UTC), Soyuz Flight ST36 lifted-off with 36 OneWeb satellites onboard, bringing the size of the fleet in orbit to 358, after this successful deployment. Flight ST36 was the 61st Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace and its Starsem affiliate. The mission lasted three hours and 51 minutes. The 36 satellites were deployed during nine separation sequences, at an altitude of 450 km.

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NSIL/ISRO and OneWeb to Collaborate for Taking Digital Connectivity to Every Corner of the World

GSLV Mk III booster lifts off. (Credit: ISRO)
  • ISRO’s PSLV and GSLV-MkIII to become a part of launch programme for OneWeb’s LEO satellites that will beam high speed broadband on earth

LONDON and NEW DELHI, India, 11 October 2021 (OneWeb PR) — Bharti-backed OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, today announced an  arrangement through Letter of Intent with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to use the Indian-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.

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Eutelsat Raises its Shareholding Stake in OneWeb

PARIS, 6 October 2021 (Eutelsat PR) – Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) has exercised a call option on a portion of the latest OneWeb funding round subscribed by Bharti, for a consideration of $165 million, taking its shareholding from 17.6% to 22.9%.

The transaction was undertaken on identical financial terms to Eutelsat’s initial investment of $550 million announced in April and completed on 8 September. The completion of this latest transaction is expected around year-end 2021 subject to regulatory authorisations.

Since Eutelsat’s initial investment, OneWeb has gained significant traction, both operationally, with a 100% launch success rate leading to nearly half of the constellation now in orbit, and commercially, with numerous distribution partnerships secured ahead of its partial entry into service, which remains on track for end-2021.

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Astranis Moves Launch of First Commercial Satellite to Falcon Heavy

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying 24 satellites as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission launches from Launch Complex 39A, Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

Satellite will launch directly to geostationary orbit, meaning broadband internet service will come online months faster for underserved areas of Alaska

SAN FRANCISCO (Astranis PR) — Astranis announced today that its first commercial communications satellite, set to provide service for Alaska from geostationary orbit, will now launch as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on a direct-inject mission set for Spring 2022. The mission profile will allow the spacecraft to arrive at its orbital slot within days of launch and removes the need for a multiple-month orbit raise from a highly-elliptical geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

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SpaceX Satellite Signals Used Like GPS to Pinpoint Location on Earth

Sixty Starlink satellites separate from a Falcon 9 second stage on April 22, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX website)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ohio State University PR) — Engineering researchers have developed a method to use signals broadcast by Starlink internet service satellites to accurately locate a position here on Earth, much like GPS does. It is the first time the Starlink system has been harnessed by researchers outside SpaceX for navigation.

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OneWeb Strengthens Ground Segment with QuadSAT

Credit: QuadSat

ODENSE, Denmark (QuadSAT PR) – OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company is working with QuadSAT to perform verification of its ground segment antennas ahead of the global rollout of its LEO constellation. In an initial stage, QuadSAT has carried out an antenna validation campaign at the Telespazio teleport in Scanzano, Italy.

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With the 10th OneWeb Launch RUAG Space Placed More Than 1000 Satellites

Soyuz-2 launches 34 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

BERN, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — On Tuesday, September 14, another 34 OneWeb internet satellites have been separated from the Soyuz launch vehicle and placed in orbit with a dispenser from RUAG Space. With this, the Swiss-based space supplier has successfully placed 1,031 satellites in orbit, exceeding the landmark of 1,000 satellite separations.

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