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Industry News2016-12-22T11:38:44-07:00

Exotrail wins ESA contracts • SmartSky suing ATG equipment contractor • Eutelsat executive steps down

To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES French propulsion startup Exotrail has signed two contracts with the European Space Agency for its smallsat electric propulsion technology. Under the first contract, Exotrail said it will “accelerate the qualification and flight demonstration” of its 150-Watt ExoMG-Micro thruster. The second contract calls for [...]

Intelsat taps Maxar for fifth C-band satellite, capping order spree 

WASHINGTON — Intelsat has signed a satellite contract with Maxar Technologies, placing the final order in a one-time surge in manufacturing deals triggered by the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming C-band spectrum auction. Maxar will build the Intelsat-37 communications satellite at its Palo Alto, California, factory on a 1300-class platform, Intelsat said Sept. 17. Intelsat-37 is the last of 13 satellites [...]

Megaconstellation startup Mangata Networks joins T-Mobile-backed 5G incubator

WASHINGTON — Mangata Networks, a broadband megaconstellation venture created by former OneWeb Satellites CEO Brian Holz, is one of 16 startups newly added the 5G Open Innovation Lab, an ideas-and-partnership incubator founded earlier this year by T-Mobile, Intel and NASA to help unleash the potential of 5G mobile networks.  Mangata said Sept. 16 that inclusion in the nontraditional accelerator will [...]

Xage Security prepares U.S. Space Force cyber strategy

SAN FRANCISCO – Xage Security, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity startup, announced a contract Sept. 17 to develop evaluate and prepare a data protection strategy for the U.S. Space Force Xage won a $743,000 phase two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force organization charged with spurring innovation. Under the contract awarded in June, Xage will [...]

CSF president to join Voyager Space Holdings

WASHINGTON — The longtime president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is stepping down next month to become an executive with one of the organization’s member companies. The CSF announced Sept. 17 that Eric Stallmer will leave the organization in late October to become executive vice president for government relations and public policy at Voyager Space Holdings, a holding company [...]

NASA and Energy Department step up cooperation

WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy and NASA are meeting regularly to investigate how they can cooperate on technologies that go beyond their long-standing work on nuclear power systems. The two agencies held a roundtable Sept. 15 at the University of Tulsa to discuss both how they are working together as well as how they can cooperate with university researchers [...]

Military commanders could use more satellites for tactical surveillance

WASHINGTON — Pacific theater Air Force commander Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach said one of the items on his wish list are low-orbiting surveillance satellites to help track targets on the ground, at sea and in the air. “Yes, I am absolutely in favor of more space-based ISR,” said Wilsbach, the commander of Pacific Air Forces at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. ISR is [...]

Northrop Grumman wins $298 million contract to develop jam-resistant military satellite

WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman received a $298 million contract to develop a jam-resistant military satellite to supplement and eventually replace the existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites made by Lockheed Martin. The Space and Missile Systems Center announced the contract award Sept. 16 for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program, known as Evolved Strategic Satcom. The satellite has to [...]

Nanoracks finalizing space station airlock and new funding round

WASHINGTON — As Nanoracks puts the finishing touches on an airlock that will be installed on the International Space Station later this year, the company is finalizing a new funding round. The Bishop airlock module is undergoing final preparations at Nanoracks’ headquarters in Houston. The module will be shipped later this month to Florida to be integrated with a SpaceX [...]

U.S. Space Command to begin testing the last satellite of the AEHF-MILSTAR constellation

WASHINGTON — The AEHF-6 military communications satellite launched March 26 has completed on-orbit testing and will be turned over to U.S. Space Command for additional tests before the spacecraft can be declared operational, the program manager told SpaceNews Sept. 16. “We are going to start operational testing with the users,” said Col. John Dukes, head of the Space Production Corps’ [...]