The Best Laid Plans, Moscow Edition: Ukraine Invasion Damages Russia’s Launch Business

Soyuz-2 rocket launches a military satellite from Plesetsk Cosmodrome. (Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Ambitious launch schedules typically go awry when a rocket suffers a catastrophic failure that takes months to investigate and implement modifications to ensure the same accident doesn’t happen again. In the majority of cases, the failures involve a machine launching a machine. All that can be replaced, albeit at substantial cost.

Russia’s ambitious launch plans for 2022 fell apart due to a far more momentous and deadly action: the nation’s invasion of Ukraine. The decision ruptured cooperation with the West on virtually every space project on which it was safe to do so. The main exception was the International Space Station (ISS), a program involving astronauts and cosmonauts that would be difficult to operate safely if Russia suddenly withdrew (as it indeed threatened to do).

Due to the invasion, Western partners canceled seven launches of foreign payloads in less than a month. The cancellations put Russia even further behind the United States and China in launch totals this year.

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The Best Laid Plans: Europe’s Ambitious Launch Year Goes Awry Due to International Tensions, Schedule Delays

The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December 2021 on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.

There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

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Eutelsat and OneWeb Sign MOU on Merger

  • Eutelsat and key OneWeb shareholders [1] sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to combining Eutelsat and OneWeb in an all-share transaction.
  • Eutelsat shareholders and OneWeb shareholders [2] would each hold 50% of the Eutelsat shares
  • Compelling financial profile with:
    • Potential for double-digit revenue and EBITDA CAGR over the medium to long term;
    • Eutelsat’s strong cash flow generation providing visibility and funding to support continued expansion into the LEO market through OneWeb’s next generation of satellites;
    • Over €1.5bn potential incremental value-creation after tax (net of implementation costs) stemming from revenue, capex and cost synergies.
  • Balanced board and governance structure, to include Eutelsat’s Chairman and its CEO, OneWeb’s Chairman, and a significant number of independent directors proposed by Eutelsat and OneWeb’s shareholders, at Extraordinary General Meeting.
  • Fully backed by a strong set of strategic shareholders of both entities, including Bpifrance and Fonds Stratégique de Participations who have undertaken to vote in favour of the transaction-related resolutions at this EGM, subject to usual conditions. CMA CGM, a shareholder of Eutelsat, is also supporting the combination.
  • Representing a transformational transaction, built on the strong foundations established in April 2021 with Eutelsat’s initial investment in OneWeb, this combination creates a global leader uniquely positioned to capture the Connectivity market with complementary GEO/LEO [3] offering.
  • Combined entity strongly positioned to address the fast-growing global Connectivity market.
  • The transaction values OneWeb at $3.4bn implying a value of €12 per Eutelsat share (including the dividend, before synergies).
  • Eutelsat to propose a €0.93 per share dividend with a scrip option in respect of FY 2021-22 at its upcoming AGM. Such dividend will not impact the exchange ratio.
  • Eutelsat will continue to be listed on Euronext Paris and apply for admission to standard listing on the London Stock Exchange.


PARIS, LONDON, 26 July 2022 (Eutelsat/OneWeb PR)
 – Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) and key OneWeb shareholders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of creating a leading global player in Connectivity through the combination of both companies in an all-share transaction. Eutelsat will combine its 36-strong fleet of GEO satellites with OneWeb’s constellation of 648 Low Earth Orbit satellites, of which 428 are currently in orbit.

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Eutelsat Communications Confirms Negotiations with OneWeb on Merger

PARIS (Eutelsat Communications PR) — Following recent market rumors, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) confirms that it has engaged in discussions with its co-shareholders in OneWeb regarding a potential all-share combination to create a global leader in Connectivity with complementary GEO/LEO activities.

The combined entity would be the first multi-orbit satellite operator offering integrated GEO and LEO solutions and would be uniquely positioned to address a booming ~$16bn (2030) Satellite Connectivity market. OneWeb is one of the two only global LEO networks and has experienced strong momentum over recent months, with service expected to be fully deployed in 2023.

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77 Launches Conducted During First Half of 2022 as Access to Orbit Expanded

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites while the Dragon that will carry Crew-4 to the International space Station awaits its turn. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

It was a busy first half of 2022 that saw 77 orbital launches with 74 successes and three failures through the 182nd day of the year on July 1. At a rate of one launch every 2 days 8 hours 44 minutes, the world is on track to exceed the 146 launches conducted in 2021.

A number of significant missions were launched during a period that saw more than 1,000 satellite launched. SpaceX flew the first fully commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Boeing conducted an orbital flight test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, China prepared to complete assembly of its space station, South Korea launched its first domestically manufactured rocket, and Rocket Lab sent a NASA mission to the moon.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

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Relativity and Impulse Space Announce the First Commercial Mission to Mars

Video Caption: Impulse Space, Inc. – leading the development of in-space transportation services for the inner solar system –announced a groundbreaking partnership and launch mission with Relativity Space, Inc., the first company to 3D print entire rockets and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, to deliver the first commercial payload to Mars. With an anticipated launch window starting in 2024, the historic partnership rapidly advances the companies’ shared goal of a multiplanetary existence for humanity.

Under the exclusive agreement, Relativity is scheduled to launch Impulse’s Mars Cruise Vehicle and Mars Lander in Terran R from Cape Canaveral, FL in an exclusive arrangement until 2029. Terran R will deliver Impulse’s Mars Cruise Vehicle and Mars Lander on a trans-Mars injection (TMI) orbit launched from Earth to Mars. Once in Mars orbit, the aeroshell-equipped Mars Lander will enter the red planet’s atmosphere and propulsively land on Mars’ surface. Impulse’s Mars Lander will have its own payload capacity to the Martian surface, supporting the research and development needed to build toward humanity’s multiplanetary future.

Designed as the world’s first fully reusable, entirely 3D printed rocket, Terran R is pioneering a new class of reusable launch vehicles that will open new opportunities for space exploration and scientific research. Made possible through Relativity’s proprietary 3D printing process and exotic materials, Terran R features unique design geometries that are not possible to achieve in traditional manufacturing, driving exponential innovation and disruption in the industry.

With a five-meter payload fairing and the ability to launch almost 20 times greater payload than Terran 1 –Terran R represents a large leap towards Relativity’s mission to build humanity’s multiplanetary future, by serving as a point-to-point space freighter capable of missions between Earth, the Moon and Mars. To date, Relativity has signed a total of five customers for Terran R totaling more than $1.2B in backlog, including a multi-year, multi-launch Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with OneWeb recently announced in June 2022.

For more on Terran R, visit our website: https://www.relativityspace.com

For more information on Impulse, visit https://www.impulsespace.com

SatixFy Technology Enables First 5G link Through a LEO Constellation

Significant milestone achieved by SatixFy supported by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) using the OneWeb constellation, to successfully demonstrate a high-speed low-latency 5G-enabled link with a LEO satellite

The demonstration was enabled by SatixFy’s compact fully electronically steered multi-beam multi-orbit antenna terminal

The SatixFy terminal also demonstrated simultaneous multi-orbit communications with a LEO and GEO satellite using its multi-beam multi satellites capability

The demonstration validates the integration of space and ground networks using 5G links

5G is a potential large incremental market opportunity for SatixFy technology in the future – Northern Sky Research estimates $35 Billion in SatCom services revenue by 2030

HARWELL, England (SatixFy Communications Ltd. PR) — SatixFy Communications Ltd. (“SatixFy”), a leader in next-generation satellite communication systems based on in-house developed chipsets, today announced its critical role in enabling the first ever demonstration of a high-speed, low-latency link with a LEO satellite constellation incorporating 5G (video available here). SatixFy has partnered with OneWeb under the ESA Sunrise Partnership Project, with support from the UK Space Agency, to develop a compact electronically steered multi-beam array suitable for mobility services over both LEO and GEO satellites simultaneously. The terminal can also be integrated into 5G equipment to allow end-to-end access to a LEO constellation network via a 5G signal.

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Relativity Space, OneWeb Sign Multi-launch Agreement for Terran R Rocket

Rendering of Terran 1 rocket launching from potential future Vandenberg launch site. (Credit: Relativity Space)

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 30, 2022 (Relativity Space PR) – Relativity Space, the first company to 3D print entire rockets and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, announced today that it has signed a multi-year, multi-launch Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with OneWeb, the global space-based communications company. Under the agreement, Relativity will launch OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites on Terran R, the first fully reusable and entirely 3D printed rocket, starting in 2025. These launches will support OneWeb’s deployment of its Gen 2 satellite network, which will add capacity and fresh capabilities to build upon the initial constellation of 648 satellites the company is currently building out. 

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LEO Network Brings High-Speed, Low Latency Connectivity to Remote Thule Air Base

At the snowy outpost, 2 Intellian terminals dot the landscape connecting with the OneWeb satellites that orbit overhead. (Credit: Hughes)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes PR) — It was just one year ago that Hughes announced its selection by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to design and deploy a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network at Thule Air Base, Greenland.

Thule is the northernmost U.S. military installation, situated a little less than 1,000 miles from the North Pole. Built in the 1950s, the strategic base is used today for force projection, space superiority, and scientific research. The remote outpost at 76.32’ North latitude is situated well outside the footprint of a typical geostationary satellite, which orbits the earth above the Equator. Coupled with limited terrestrial connectivity, it was a veritable desert when it comes to connectivity…until now.

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Busek Scales Thruster Production for Airbus OneWeb Satellites

Busek BHT-350 Hall effect thruster in production (Image Credit: Busek Co.)

NATICK, Mass. (Busek Co. PR) — The in-space propulsion firm Busek Co. confirmed its supply of BHT-350 Hall effect thrusters for a range of missions supported by Airbus OneWeb Satellites (AOS). The Busek thrusters have been engineered and qualified to rigorous standards and are suitable for high-reliability, long-lifetime applications where thrusters are used for orbit raising, maintenance, and end-of-life de-orbit.

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OneWeb, Astroscale, and the UK and European Space Agencies Partner to Launch Space Junk Servicer ELSA-M with €14.8 million Investment

The ELSA-M servicer will launch towards the end of 2024. The partnership is taking an important step to create a more sustainable space environment. 

United Kingdom (Astroscale PR) – OneWeb together with Astroscale Ltd.* will seek to safeguard the satellite economy with ground-breaking new spacecraft technology, thanks in part to a new investment of €14.8 million. The mission to demonstrate Astroscale’s ELSA-M servicer will launch towards the end of 2024, with ambitious plans to deliver a debris removal service to satellite operators thereafter.

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Navarino signs M.O.U. with OneWeb to extend enterprise-grade connectivity to commercial ship operators globally

Agreement expands availability of LEO connectivity for commercial shipping, to transform operational efficiency and to support smarter shipping.

LONDON (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, and Navarino, one of the world’s leading maritime technology companies, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to become a global Distribution Partner to deliver high speed, low latency connectivity to the global commercial shipping industry. 

Combining Navarino’s maritime technology solutions with OneWeb’s high speed, low latency connectivity will offer maritime customers seamless access to OneWeb’s fast, reliable, and affordable connectivity solutions. A series of sea trials will be undertaken with Navarino focusing on the first vessels connected from Q1 2023. 

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OneWeb and Uzbekspace Partner to Enable Digitalization of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s governmental agency Uzbekspace announces the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with OneWeb to explore new solutions for digital connectivity and innovation across the Republic of Uzbekistan.

TASHKENT., Uzbekistan (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, and Uzbekspace, the Agency of Space Research and Technology under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the provision of ubiquitous high-speed, low-latency broadband satellite connectivity across the Republic of Uzbekistan in order to boost innovation and digitalization of its economy and society.

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Gogo Business Aviation to Launch LEO Global Broadband Service

System Features Small Antenna and One AVANCE LRU to Fit on Business Aircraft of Any Size

OneWeb satellite (Credit: OneWeb)

GENEVA (Gogo Business Aviation PR) — Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO) today announced it will launch the first global broadband service in business aviation to use an electronically steered antenna (ESA) on a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite network.

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Eutelsat Reports Third Quarter and Nine-month Revenues of €285 Million

Eutelsat quantum satellite (Credit: Airbus)
  • Third Quarter Operating Verticals revenues of €285m
    • -3.5%1 year-on-year
    • -0.7%1 quarter-on-quarter
  • Broadly stable Broadcast revenues quarter-on-quarter
  • Strong growth in Fixed Broadband and Mobile Connectivity
  • Nine Month operating vertical revenues down 4.0%1 year-on-year, in line with expectations
  • All financial objectives confirmed

PARIS (Eutelsat PR) – Eutelsat Communications (ISIN: FR0010221234 – Euronext Paris: ETL) reports revenues for the Third Quarter and Nine Months ended 31 March 2022.

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