United States: Space Business Review - November 2015


On November 25, Blue Origin, LLC (Blue Origin) successfully completed the first orbital test flight and landing of its reusable, vertical takeoff and vertical landing New Shepard space vehicle, reaching a test altitude of 100.5km before returning to land at its launch site in West Texas. Blue Origin expects the New Shepard to carry six astronauts to altitudes beyond 100km.


On November 4, Intelsat S.A. (Intelsat) and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (JSAT) announced that they signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture that will launch and operate Horizons 3e, a new satellite with optimized Cband and high throughput Ku-band capacity based on the design of the Intelsat EpicNG next generation platform. Horizons 3e will be positioned at the 169°E orbital location, from where it will provide aeronautical and maritime mobility, broadband connectivity and cellular backhaul services to enterprise and government customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Deployment of the satellite will complete a global footprint for the Intelsat EpicNG platform.


November 11Thales Alenia Space announced that it was selected by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to manufacture the Bangabandhu satellite, Bangladesh's first satellite, based on the Spacebus 4000B2 platform. Bangabandhu will be equipped with 26 Ku- and 14-C-band transponders and will provide broadcasting and telecommunications services to Bangladesh and the surrounding region. To be launched in 2017, Bangabandhu will be positioned at 119.1°E.

November 25Space Systems/Loral, LLC announced that it was selected by Telesat Canada (Telesat) to manufacture the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite based on the SSL 1300 platform. Telstar 19 VANTAGE will be equipped with two high throughput payloads, one in Kuand the other in Ka-band, and will be co-located with Telstar 14R at 63°W. Following launch, expected in 2018, the new satellite will serve Latin America, the North Atlantic, the Caribbean and North Canada. In a related development, Telesat and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) announced that they entered into a 15- year agreement under which Hughes will use Kaband capacity on Telstar 19 VANTAGE to expand broadband satellite services in South America.


On November 5, Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) and Canadian satellite component manufacturer COM DEV International Ltd. (Com Dev) announced that they entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Honeywell will acquire Com Dev for roughly $345m net of debt and cash, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The acquisition will result in the spinoff to shareholders of exactEarth Ltd., Com Dev's satellite maritime surveillance business.


November 10Arianespace S.A. successfully launched the ARABSAT-6B (BADR-7) and GSAT-15 satellites for Arab Satellite Communications Organization and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) respectively on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. BADR-7 was manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, which supplied the Eurostar E3000 platform and performed integration, and Thales Alenia Space, which provided the satellite's telecommunications relay payload. BADR-7 will provide broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services to users in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. GSAT-15 was manufactured by ISRO; it will provide telecommunications services across India, including navigation-aid and emergency services.

November 24Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully launched the Telstar 12 VANTAGE satellite for Telesat Canada on a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA launch vehicle. Manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, Telstar 12 VANTAGE will provide optimized Kuband capacity to growing mobility, enterprise and video markets in the Americas and the EMEA region. Telstar 12 VANTAGE will replace the Telstar 12 satellite at the 15°W orbital slot.


November 10 – The Indian Space Research Organisation announced that it selected Arianespace S.A. to launch the GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 satellites, each on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

November 11ILS International Launch Services Inc. (ILS) announced that it entered into a Multi-Launch Agreement with Intelsat S.A. (Intelsat) pursuant to which ILS will perform five launches for Intelsat from 2016 through 2023 using the Proton launch vehicle.

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