This morning, we published Part II of our report series on LEO Broadband Constellations. While our Part I report provided a historical retrospective on failed LEO efforts of the 1990s, our Part II report focuses squarely on the here-and-now, providing a comprehensive overview Amazon, OneWeb, SpaceX, and Telesat.
Our ~80-page report breaks down the opportunities, risks, and leading players across five major spheres. A narrow sampling of considerations and takeaways includes:
Spectrum. OneWeb and Telesat are in the drivers’ seat. Amazon is still working on a strategy.
Space Segment. Space segment price per bit varies widely. And despite the universal appeal of optical inter-satellite links (O-ISLs), Telesat is the only company today to baseline the technology on Gen1 satellites. Do O-ISLs have implications for a key LEO competitive advantage, latency?
In October 2018, the US Air Force selected four companies (Blue Origin, Northrop, SpaceX, ULA) to compete for the newly established National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program that replaces the 1990s vintage EELV program. The Air Force has… Read the rest
It is sometimes interesting to observe how two companies operating in the same business confront challenges from completely different philosophies. In this case, the two companies in question are SpaceX (a U.S. company)… Read the rest
Over the past five years, the launch sector has (improbably?) become one of the hottest startup sectors, with more than 100 companies announcing plans to enter the market. To date, however, only one of these new entrants … Read the rest
On 30 September, the US Air Force awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA) a $1.18 billion contract modification to support the launch of five Delta IV Heavy rockets stretching through the end of February 2024. When combined with an earlier $1.01 billion production contract, each launch will cost a hefty $438 million. The contract modification was necessary because, with the end of the EELV program, … Read the rest
On September 28, 2019 (eleven years after the first successful launch of the Falcon 1), Elon Musk hosted a nearly two-hour webcast update on SpaceX’s Starship development plans. While the broad outlines of the company’s plan were already well known (prior speeches, Musk tweets), the webcast provided some important new details and (fantastical?) claims that, … Read the rest