Between the emergence of a possible new Space Force and exciting new technologies being introduced in the satellite industry, there’s a lot of buzz about space again. It may not be on par with the buzz that accompanied the initial attempts to put a man into Earth’s orbit or onto the moon, but there’s a palpable energy, renewed interest and increased investment in space that we haven’t seen or felt in decades.
We believe one of the reasons for this excitement is innovation in space. New technologies are being introduced that are opening up new orbits for satellites. And those new orbits, new technologies and new satellite constellations that they’re enabling have the potential to offer some truly revolutionary things to the masses – including to those in the federal government.
What types of things? What about ubiquitous, high bandwidth, low latency connectivity to practically anywhere on the planet? How about satellites that can be refueled and repaired so they can deliver these services for decades? These are just some of the exciting and revolutionary things we’re reading about in the space and satellite news lately. Let’s take a look:
SES Networks CEO Outlines Vision to Attack New Markets
With Steve Collar taking over the helm of SES, someone had to step up to take the reigns as the new CEO of SES Networks – and that man is John-Paul Hemingway. For those that aren’t familiar with SES Networks, it’s the new name for O3b, which went from having SES as an investor to being purchased by the company.
In this very interesting and in-depth Q&A interview with the folks at Via Satellite, Paul talks about his new role and some of the major opportunities and challenges that are awaiting him as CEO of what is one of the most exciting and innovative satellite providers on the planet. And one of the most interesting opportunities involves satellite breaking out from the aviation and maritime space and becoming more “mainstream.”
How and why is this happening? Much of it has to do with the world’s fascination with the tiny little computers in their pockets and our demand that they always be working at all times. Telecoms are hearing the call for more bandwidth in more places, and they’re turning to SES Networks for the mobile backhaul necessary to make that a possibility.
Read the full article at the link above to learn more about the increasing “mainstream” reliance on satellite in the telecom industry, and what this can mean for the satellite industry. But if you think that the increased demand for satellite is just coming from the maritime, aviation and (now) telecom industry, you’d be mistaken…
U.S. Government Stands to benefit from Next-Generation MEO fleet beginning 2021
There are other organizations that have individuals stationed in every corner of the globe that need to ensure that they can access the IT services, capabilities and solutions that they need to do their jobs – and that’s modern governments.
In this bylined article, the CEO of SES GS, Pete Hoene, looks at the pending launch of new MEO satellites in the near future, and what the resulting constellation can deliver for the U.S. government and military. No surprise, it’s very much consistent with what other global governments and military organizations can gain from the newly bolstered MEO constellation – fiber-like connectivity and bandwidth to practically anywhere on the globe.
With military and government organizations increasingly relying on IT services and capabilities to accomplish their missions, the need to ensure ubiquitous coverage is immense. The MEO constellation that’s currently under construction at SES has the potential to deliver that coverage and ensure that all military and government personnel have the access and connectivity they need to do their jobs.
Now if only there was some way to ensure that the satellites these individuals relied on could stay in orbit and function for a really long time…
The Time For On-Orbit Satellite Servicing is Here
In this really in-depth and exciting feature article on on-orbit servicing, they look at the future of the industry and why it’s suddenly starting to gain a lot of traction.
What is on-orbit servicing? It’s exactly what it sounds like – the refueling and repair of satellites that are currently launched and on-orbit around the Earth. Why is it so important? Well, satellites are huge investments. It costs hundreds of millions to build them, test them, launch them and operate them. So, launching them into space with no real way to fix them should they break – or refuel them when they’re running on “E” – has always been a problem for the satellite industry.
Think of it like your car. You spend a good chunk of change buying a shiny new automobile. Do you junk it when the brakes or tires need to get replaced? No, you pay a service station to replace the brakes or tires so that you can continue to get a return on your initial investment. On-orbit servicing will allow something similar, but with satellites that are literally floating in space.
The article at the link above does a very good job of looking at the circumstances that are making satellite servicing a possibility today, and does an equally good job of laying out where we are in the process, and how far away we are from actually repairing satellites in space. Check it out!