Virgin Orbit to Take Equity Stake in Struggling Sky & Space Global

Cosmic Girl performs a pitch up maneuver during a flight test on April 12, 2020. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit launch company will acquire an equity stake in Sky and Space Global (SAS) and sign new strategic launch services and mutual reseller agreements with the struggling communications satellite company.

SAS announced on Oct. 28 that Virgin Orbit would take no less than a 14.7% stake in the company by purchasing shares at a price of A$.020 (US$0.14) each.


Sky and Space Global Signs New 6U Agreement with GomSpace

  • Agreement signed with GomSpace to deliver newly designed 6U nanosatellites (“6U Agreement”) – supporting Sky and Space to add a Global Coverage constellation to address the growing demand for IoT and M2M services, increase its potential customer base and enhance its revenue opportunities
  • Agreement also contemplates the execution of a new definitive Pearls Agreement that, once signed, will replace the existing Pearls Agreement entered into in 2017 (as amended)

Sky and Space Global Limited (ASX: SAS) is pleased to announce that it has signed a definitive agreement with GomSpace for the provision and manufacturing by Gomspace of an additional fleet of nanosatellites (“6U Agreement”) to support a Global Coverage constellation.


Amazon Constellation Sends Number of Planned Communications Satellites Soaring Above 20,000

F6 satellite (Credit: OneWeb)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has jumped into a crowded field of companies seeking to provide high-speed broadband, data and other communications services to the entire globe.

Amazon’s Kuiper constellation of 3,236 satellites brings the total number of spacecraft in the 16 announced systems to 20,241 spacecraft. The competition includes SpaceX, Boeing, Telesat, SES and government-backed companies in China and Russia.


SCISYS to Deliver Pearls Constellation Simulator to Sky and Space Global

CHIPPENHAM, England (SCISYS PR) — SCISYS PLC (“SCISYS”), the supplier of software systems, IT-based solutions and support services to the space, government, defence, commerce and media & broadcast sectors, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a contract by Sky and Space Global (UK) Ltd (“SAS”) to deliver the network management simulator for their Pearls Constellation of nanosatellites within 12 months.

SCISYS Space will deliver the Pearls Constellation Simulator (or “PearlSim”), a high-fidelity, high-performance, configurable, scalable and portable solution for providing a representation of the constellation, its communication infrastructure, customer activity and mission operations.


D-Orbit, Sky & Space Global to Collaborate on SAS Nanosat Constellation

  • Sky and Space Global (SAS) has signed a binding agreement with Italian space system company, D-Orbit, to provide launch and deployment services for the upcoming roll-out of the SAS nanosatellite constellation
  • The partnership will allow SAS to maximize the operational capabilities and potential revenue generation for their upcoming nanosatellite constellation
  • The agreement follows the recent announcement of the Pearls, the next generation of SAS nanosatellites, which will be launched into space and were unveiled at the International
    Astronautical Congress in Adelaide in September
  • This partnership demonstrates SAS’ strong commitment to the success of its constellation launch plans and delivering on its promises to investors and shareholders


Sky and Space Global Announces Breakthroughs in Nanosat Utilization

LONDON (Sky and Space Global PR) — Sky and Space Global Ltd (ASX: SAS, “Sky and Space Global” or the “Company”) today announces a world first for the aerospace, satellite and telecommunications industries, as the first ever voice call has been successfully conducted using its 3 Diamonds nano-satellite technology, a standard smartphone and SAS proprietary hardware and application.

Performing the first ever phone call facilitated by nano-satellites marks a major milestone for the telecoms and satellite communications industries. This technology will enable the delivery of low cost satellite connectivity in remote locations and emerging markets that have no access to a communications network infrastructure. It is an important step towards realizing the SAS vision.


Sky and Space Global Signs First Binding Commercial Offtake Contract


  • Sky and Space Global and Sat -Space Africa have signed a binding commercial contract for provision of narrow -band services, following the initial binding Letter of Intent from 2016
  • Sat-Space Africa is the Company’s first contracted wholesale customer for services from the 3 Diamonds and the Equatorial Constellation once deployed from 2018
  • This binding contract defines the full commercial terms for purchasing services from Sky and Space Global, along with Sat-Space Africa’s role with other customers
  • Once the full Sky and Space Global Equatorial Constellation is deployed, potential revenues from customers via Sat- Space Africa will be between US$10 million to US$35 million annually
  • This binding commercial contract provides further confidence in Sky and Space Global’s nano-satellite constellation and technical capability


Virgin Galactic Announces Sky and Space Global as Newest LauncherOne Customer

LauncherOne ignites after being released from Cosmic Girl 747. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
LauncherOne ignites after being released from Cosmic Girl 747. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

PARIS, September 12, 2016 (Virgin Galactic PR) – Commercial spaceline Virgin Galactic announced today that global communications company Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS) has signed a binding launch services agreement to purchase four dedicated missions on the LauncherOne system. Speaking at the World Satellite Business Week event in Paris, officials from the two companies revealed that these flights will enable the deployment of Sky and Space Global’s initial constellation. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.


Smallsat Roundup: Japanese Launcher, Australia Nanosats & Virgin Funding

LauncherOne ignites after being released from Cosmic Girl 747. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)
LauncherOne ignites after being released from Cosmic Girl 747. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Japanese Startup: Nikkei Asian Review has an interview with Takahiro Inagawa, CEO of Interstellar Technologies, about his company’s plans to develop a cheap booster for launching small satellites. “Our focus is not to develop high-end rockets but something simple and affordable, just like the Super Cub (Honda Motor’s popular small motorbike),” Inagawa said. The company plans its first sounding rocket launch this summer.

Orders for Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne: Business Insider Australia reports that Australian startup Sky and Space Global plans launch part of its constellation of voice and data network nanosats aboard Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne. “It is expected to not only deliver substantial cost savings, due to LauncherOne’s ability to carry multiple nano-satellites simultaneously, but will enable us to bolster our bandwidth capacity as we launch further nano-satellites into orbit,” said company founder Meir Moalem.

UPDATE: The agreement is only a letter of intent, which falls short of firm orders for launches.

Virgin Galactic Fundraising: Sky News says that Richard Branson is raising up to $300 million for “existing shareholders” for Virgin Galactic.  “The latest injection of capital is aimed at accelerating the development of Galactic’s commercial satellite venture and expanding production capacity at the company’s headquarters,” Sky News reports. Virgin Galactic declined to comment.