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Biz Briefs: OneWeb Inks Canada Deal, Virgin Orbit & Isar Book Launches, ESA Wants More Walking Billboards

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 4, 2023
Biz Briefs: OneWeb Inks Canada Deal, Virgin Orbit & Isar Book Launches, ESA Wants More Walking Billboards
Cosmic Girl in flight. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

Plus news about Viasat, Ovzon and In-Space Missions

OneWeb to Provide Broadband to Canada, Kazakhstan

Ontario-based Galaxy Broadband signed an US $50 million deal to provide OneWeb’s broadband services across Canada, including the northern territory of Nunavut.

Galaxy and OneWeb have partnered to offer satellite connectivity services designed specifically for the remotest Canadian enterprises, including mine sites and isolated communities. Galaxy has already deployed to more than 75 locations across the nation.

OneWeb and the Kazakhstan National Railways Company have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband satellite connectivity for railway stations and rolling stock across the country.

“OneWeb’s philosophy has always been to work closely with partners and customers across the globe to develop and deploy best in class solutions ‘for the industry, by the industry’,” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb’s vice president for mobility and the AMEA region. “We are happy for the opportunity to cooperate with the National Railways in Kazakhstan in developing connectivity solutions to address the current and future connectivity needs for fixed sites, such as railway stations, cargo terminals and seaports, and moving platforms, including rolling stock.” 

SatRev Books Additional Virgin Orbit Launches

Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB) and Poland-based satellite manufacturer SatRevolution announced a follow-on agreement for additional launches in 2023 and beyond.

This new agreement provides SatRevolution with the flexibility to launch 500 kg (1,102 lb) over multiple launches to different orbital planes from the Mojave Air and Space Port at Rutan Field in Calif., and/or from other spaceports around the world.

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne has launched four SatRevolution satellites into low Earth orbit on the “Tubular Bells” and “Above the Clouds” missions.

Virgin Orbit invested $30 million in SatRevolution in a Series B round in December 2021.

Spaceflight Inc. & Isar Aerospace Sign Multi-Launch Agreement

German launch provider Isar Aerospace and U.S.-based Spaceflight Inc. have signed a multi-launch services agreement. Spaceflight secured one dedicated launch in 2026 to a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) from Andøya, Norway, and an option for a second dedicated launch in 2025.

Isar Aerospace is developing the two-stage Spectrum launcher that will be capable of placing 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) into a 700 km (435 mile) high SSO.

Spaceflight, which is based in Washington state, works with small satellite operators to arrange for launches on different boosters and deployments via its Sherpa orbital transfer vehicles. The company has delivered more than 450 spacecraft across 55 launches.

Ovzon Gets Satellite Order

Ovzon has received its first order for Ovzon’s SATCOM-as-a-Service from Spanish partner Aicox Solutions. The fully integrated solution includes satellite bandwidth, T6 mobile satellite terminals, commercial Internet, gateway access, terrestrial backbone connectivity, and 24/7 customer service and support.

Aicox Solutions offers customized advanced technical and satellite communication solutions to customers within the defense, civil protection, and emergency markets in Spain and Portugal.

Viasat Wins Contract From U.S. Marine Corps

Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has been awarded a contract to provide end-to-end satellite communications support through a fully managed service to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The contract is a follow-on to a successful pilot program through which Viasat delivered service to the USMC I Marine Expeditionary Force.

ESA Wants More Walking Billboards

The European Space Agency (ESA) has decided it wants more people walking around in shirts, hats and other apparel emblazoned with its name.

ESA has made it easier for applicants to request to use agency’s logo, flags patch and mission patches on merchandise. They need to fill out a form at the ESA Brand Centre. Once approval is given, they can start producing the items.

“Until now, the use of ESA emblems has only been permitted on merchandising produced in close cooperation with ESA. This includes the merchandise available at the ESA Space Shop, as well as products included as part of a comprehensive outreach programme with an ESA commercial brand licensing agreement,” the agency said.

In-Space Missions Announces Asia-Pacific Rideshare Mission

In-Space Missions is partnering with Singapore Space Technologies Ltd (SSTL) to offer an Asia-Pacific region satellite rideshare mission scheduled for 2025. The Faraday Dragon spacecraft will fly multiple payloads for regional governmental, commercial, financial, research and educational organizations.

In-Space Missions and SSTL will hold a workshop during the Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC) in Singapore on Feb. 15-16. Core technologies and processes for a variety of applications will be discussed at the workshop, including optical payloads (both visible and infra-red), radio frequency sensing, radar, processors, machine learning and artificial intelligence, communications, propulsion, formation flying, metrology and timing.