United States: Space Business Review September 2015


On September 18, Avanti Communications Group plc (Avanti) and SES S.A. (SES) announced that they have entered into a frequency coordination agreement whereby Avanti will transfer to SES certain Ka-band spectrum rights valued at $25.1m and lease from SES a steerable Ka-band beam on the Astra 5B satellite operating at 31.5°E. Avanti will use the leased beam to serve markets intended to be covered by the Hylas 3 satellite, which is scheduled to be launched no earlier than 2017.


On September 15, Blue Origin, LLC announced that it will establish a manufacturing facility and launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida for its planned reusable orbital launch vehicle. The launch vehicle has not yet been assigned an official name publicly but is expected to begin launching both satellites and astronauts by 2020.


September 10 – Arianespace S.A. successfully launched two satellites for Europe's Galileo navigation constellation on a Europeanized Soyuz launch vehicle, bringing to 10 the number of Galileo satellites in orbit, with 20 more remaining to be deployed by 2020.

September 14 – A Proton-M launch vehicle successfully orbited the Express-AM8 satellite for the Russian Satellite Communications Company. Manufactured by JSC Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Co. and equipped with C-, Ku- and L-band payloads provided by Thales Alenia Space, Express-AM8 will provide communications and broadcasting services to users in Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America from 14°W.

September 28 – The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launched four cubesats for Spire Global, Inc., together with India's first astronomy satellite and two other secondary payloads, on a PSLV launch vehicle.

September 30 – Arianespace S.A. successfully launched the Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 satellites for NBN Co Limited and Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales S.A. respectively, on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Sky Muster, which was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, LLC, will provide broadband services to rural and remote areas of Australia. ARSAT-2, which was manufactured by INVAP S.E., will provide DTH, Internet access, data transmission and IP telephony services across the Americas.


September 14 – The Hispasat Group (Hispasat) announced that it selected ILS International Launch Services Inc. (ILS) and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to launch in 2017, on Proton and Falcon 9 launch vehicles respectively, the Amazonas 5 and Hispasat 1F satellites. Hispasat did not disclose which launch services provider would launch which satellite. Amazonas 5 will be positioned at 61°W and will be used to meet growing demand for satellite capacity in Latin America. Hispasat 1F will replace the Hispasat 1D satellite at 30°W and will be used to provide Ka-band coverage of Europe, Ku-band coverage of the Andean region and Brazil and greater transatlantic connectivity between Europe and the United States. Both satellites are currently being manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, LLC based on the SSL 1300 satellite platform.

September 14 – Arianespace S.A. announced that it was selected by Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL) to launch the BSAT-4a satellite on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle in late 2017. BSAT-4a is currently being manufactured by SSL based on the SSL 1300 satellite platform under a turnkey contract with Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation. BSAT 4a will be equipped with 24 Ku-band transponders and will replace the BSAT-3a satellite at 110°E to provide digital broadcasting services throughout Japan.

September 14 – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. announced that it was selected by Arab Satellite Communications Organization to launch the Arabsat 6A satellite on a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle in 2018. Arabsat 6A is being manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. It will provide TV, radio and broadband services from 30.5°E.

September 30 – Arianespace S.A. announced that it was selected by Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales S.A. (ARSAT) to launch the ARSAT-3 satellite on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle in 2019 and to perform, between 2020 and 2023, up to two optional launch services, which will be for future ARSAT geostationary satellites similar to ARSAT-3.

September 30 – Spaceflight Industries, Inc., a Seattle-based company that arranges secondary payload launches for small satellites, announced that it selected Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to perform its first dedicated mission, a launch of more than 20 satellites, on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle in the latter half of 2017.

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