United States: Space Business Review - December 2013

A monthly round-up of space industry developments for the information of our clients and friends.


"NewSpace" companies shake up space business: Skybox Imaging launches the first of its planned 24-satellite earth observation constellation and releases initial images and HD video; Kymeta remains on-track to introduce satellite antennas with patented metamaterials that enable beam steering without moving parts; PlanetLabs raises $52m in new investment for its earth monitoring Dove satellites; Nanoracks expands microgravity research and CubeSat deployment options.


SpaceX flight qualifies the Merlin 1D engine and launches its first commercial geostationary transfer orbit mission (SES-8); Orbital Sciences test-launches its Antares rocket and berths a Cygnus" cargo logistics spacecraft with the International Space Station; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries signs up its first commercial contract to launch Telesat's Telstar 12 VANTAGE on its upgraded H-IIA launcher; Arianespace reports a record launch contract backlog of over €4b, signs up new Vega and Soyuz missions and focuses on development of the Ariane 6; International Launch Services and Proton end 2013 on a high note following a rocky start.


Thales and ISS Reshetnev establish Universum; ARABSAT and Es'hailSat enter strategic spectrum rights agreement; Arianespace and MHI agree on joint development of new launch services offerings; United Launch Alliance and RUAG agree to develop a dual launch capability for the Atlas V and Delta IV launchers; ORBCOMM and Inmarsat form strategic alliance for M2M products.


Intelsat issues over $6b of senior notes and sells 19.32m common shares in its IPO on the NYSE; Avanti completes its inaugural $370m senior notes issuance; SES carries out its inaugural U.S. registered bond offering, consisting of $1b of senior notes, and issues €500m in Euro bonds; AsiaSat secures $343.3m from U.S. Ex-Im Bank for AsiaSat 6 and AsiaSat 8; Spacecom receives $293m from U.S. Ex-Im Bank and Export Development Canada for AMOS-6; DIRECTV issues Ł350m of sterling-denominated senior notes; and Sirius XM Radio issues $650m of senior notes.


The Chinese government successfully carries out manned and lunar space missions to complement China Great Wall Industry Corporation's significant commercial/civil satellite and launch programs; the Indian Space Research Organisation is allocated $7.2b to fund a 5-year growth plan to launch 14 new satellites, implement a 7-satellite navigation system and develop a heavy lift launch vehicle.


SES/European Space Agency/OHB announce ELECTRA satellite initiative; China Aerospace Corp., Lockheed Martin, Space Systems/Loral and Thales Alenia Space all report ongoing allelectric satellite development programs.


DigitalGlobe and GeoEye complete their merger; ARABSAT acquires a 99.05% stake in Hellas-Sat; Liberty Media assumes control of Sirius XM Radio; Eutelsat enters an agreement to acquire Satmex; Abertis strikes a deal to take control of Hispasat; following a strategic review process, SingTel elects to retain Optus Satellite.


Intelsat orders four more EpicNG satellites from Boeing; Hughes selects Space Systems/Loral for Jupiter" 2/EchoStar XI; ViaSat contracts with Boeing for ViaSat-2, expected to be the highest capacity satellite ever, when launched in 2016.


ARABSAT Ka-band payload for Emerging Markets Communications on Badr-7; AsiaSat - GeoMetWatch (STORM") meteorology payload on a future satellite; Iridium NEXT - Harris hosted payload deal; U.S. government releases the HoPs hosted payload contracting vehicle.


Boeing: four EpicNG satellites, a fourth Inmarsat- 5 satellite, Satmex 9 and ViaSat-2; China Great Wall Industry Corporation: APSTAR-9 and SupremeSAT-2; EADS Astrium: Badr 7, Express AMU1/EUTELSAT 36C, a currently unnamed DIRECTV satellite and a currently unnamed Telesat satellite; ISS Reshetnev: AOneSat-1; Space Systems/Loral: AsiaSat 9, Intelsat 34, JCSAT-14, Jupiter" 2/EchoStar XIX and Star One D1; and Thales Alenia Space: SGDC.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances

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