Telesat U.S. Services Awarded DARPA Contract for Blackjack Track B Research, Development and in-Orbit Demonstration with Telesat LEO

Telesat U.S. Services will deliver two spacecraft in less than one year to showcase the use of Optical Inter-Satellite Links in orbit for government requirements

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, October 14, 2020 (Telesat U.S. Services PR) – Telesat U.S. Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of leading global satellite operator Telesat, has been awarded a contract by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for the development and in-orbit demonstration of commercial low-Earth-orbit (LEO) spacecraft buses in a LEO constellation network with robust low-latency communications features as part of DARPA’s Blackjack program.

Following Telesat’s initial 2018 contract for system engineering and interface definition under the Blackjack Phase 1 program, Telesat U.S. Services will develop and demonstrate the Blackjack Phase 2/3 Track B technology, including in-orbit testing the capabilities of Optical Inter-Satellite Links (OISLs).  

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Constellationizing Space: Chinese Company Seeks Approval to Launch Nearly 13,000 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Larry Press reports a Chinese company named GW has filed for spectrum allocation from the International Telecommunication Union for two broadband constellations called GW-A59 and GW-2 that would include 12,992 satellites.

The size of GW’s request indicates to Press that the company would compete globally with broadband constellations being built by SpaceX, OneWeb and Amazon. He wrote:

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Canadian Government to Invest in Telesat Satellite Broadband Program

Credit: Telesat

OTTAWA (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada PR) — Canada’s future depends on connectivity. In today’s digital world, access to high-speed Internet is a necessity for success. That is why the Government of Canada is investing in innovative satellite technologies to help improve high-speed broadband access for all Canadians, particularly in rural and remote regions.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an $85 million investment in Canadian satellite company Telesat to build and test innovative technologies for its low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Telesat’s constellation will significantly improve global connectivity and expand high-speed Internet coverage to rural and remote regions throughout Canada, including the Far North. 

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Manufacturing Teams Complete System Definition and Risk Management Phase for Telesat Constellation

Credit: Telesat

OTTAWA, Ont. and WASHINGTON, DC, May 6, 2019 (Telesat PR) – Telesat announced today that the two teams it contracted with to develop system designs for Telesat’s global low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation have successfully completed the System Definition and Risk Management Phase of the program. One of the teams is Airbus Defence and Space. The other is a consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL and MDA.

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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.

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Relativity Contracts with Telesat to Provide Launch Services for Telesat’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Constellation

LOS ANGELES, April 5, 2019 (Relativity PR) — Relativity, the world’s first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader, today announced a contract with Telesat, the renowned global satellite operator, that allows Relativity to play a role in Telesat’s innovative LEO satellite constellation.

Telesat will now have access to faster, more frequent and more flexible launches at the lowest cost using Relativity’s Terran 1, the world’s first fully 3D printed rocket designed and built using Relativity’s groundbreaking proprietary 3D printing technology platform.

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Blue Origin’s Powerful New Glenn Rocket to Launch Telesat’s Advanced Global LEO Satellite Constellation

Credit: Telesat

OTTAWA, Canada, January 31, 2019 (Telesat PR) – Telesat and Blue Origin have signed a multi-launch agreement that paves the way for the powerful New Glenn rocket to play a key role in Telesat’s deployment of its global LEO satellite constellation that will deliver fiber-like broadband services anywhere on Earth. Telesat’s LEO program will gain significant cost savings and other advantages by launching with Blue Origin’s heavy-lift New Glenn.

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Thales Alenia Space, Maxar Consortium Achieve Major Milestone in Design Phase of Telesat’s LEO Satellite Constellation

CANNES, France and WESTMINSTER, CO, Jan. 24, 2019 Thales Alenia Space/Maxar PR) – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), and SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), have completed an important milestone for the Telesat LEO constellation. The success of the consortium’s System Requirements Review (SRR) demonstrates increasing momentum for Telesat’s global communications system design and was highlighted by three satellite industry leaders agreeing on key innovations that will enable Telesat LEO to deliver breakthrough performance and affordability.

As previously announced, Telesat selected the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL and MDA, as one of two contractors for its LEO system design phase. The consortium, led by Thales Alenia Space, is designing an end-to-end communications system, including satellites, landing stations, user terminals, operations centers, and ground network.

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DARPA Selects Telesat’s LEO System to Support DARPA’s Blackjack Program

OTTAWA, Canada, November 27, 2018 (Telesat PR) – DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded a contract to Telesat under which Telesat will undertake investigations that could lead to the Department of Defense (DoD) making greater use of commercial low earth orbit satellite constellations, such as Telesat’s LEO system, for DoD’s future space-based communications.

The investigations will include evaluating the advantages of DoD using the same spacecraft buses as those Telesat will use in its LEO constellation and having these future DoD spacecraft link to Telesat’s LEO constellation via laser-based communications. The result of these investigations could lead to DoD using Telesat’s LEO system for its global broadband connectivity needs.

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Telesat Contracts With Thales Alenia Space & Maxar for Satellite Constellation


OTTAWA, Canada, July 30, 2018
(Telesat PR) – Telesat announced today that, following a highly rigorous process involving leading satellite manufacturing companies, it has entered into a contract with the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL, to further develop system designs for Telesat’s LEO constellation.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Communications Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 1:50 a.m. EDT, SpaceX successfully launched the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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SpaceX Plans Three Launches in 11 Days

The first Falcon 9 Block 5 booster heads for the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: SpaceX)

After a three-week break, SpaceX is gearing up for a busy stretch of launches with three coming up in an 11-day period on opposite sides of the country.

The launch campaign kicks off with an early Sunday morning launch from Cape Canaveral. Falcon 9 will carry Telesat’s Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite, which will provide service to China, India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

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SpaceX to Launch Global Satellite Broadband Test Spacecraft on Wednesday

Falcon 9 lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

SpaceX is set to launch two spacecraft next week that will demonstration technologies for providing fast global broadband services through a constellation of 12,000 satellites.

Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b spacecraft will hitch a ride aboard a Falcon 9 booster whose primary payload is the Paz synthetic aperture radar satellite. The launch has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6:17 a.m. PST ( 9:17 a.m. EST; 1417 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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SSTL Confirms the Successful Launch of CARBONITE-2 & Telesat LEO Phase 1 Satellite

PSLV-C40 booster lifts off (Credit: ISRO)

GUILDFORD, England (SSTL PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has confirmed the successful launch of CARBONITE-2, an Earth Observation technology demonstration mission owned and operated by SSTL, and of the Telesat LEO Phase 1 communications satellite, an important milestone in Telesat’s plans to deploy a global low earth orbit (LEO) constellation that will revolutionise broadband communications services around the world.

These two small SSTL satellites were launched into a 505 km sun-synchronous orbit on board the PSLV launch vehicle from the Satash Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India on 12 January 2018 at UTC/GMT 03:59.

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