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LOCKHEED MARTIN-BUILT SBIRS SUCCESSFULLY TRANSMITTING IMAGES
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Click image for a larger picture

Artist's rendition of a SBIRS satellite

Source: Lockheed Martin


Artist's rendition of a SBIRS satellite

Source: Lockheed Martin


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SUNNYVALE, Calif. - From its final orbit location 22,000 miles above the equator, the third Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite recently sent its first images back down to Earth, a milestone known as "first light."

The satellite was launched on Jan. 20 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is the third in a series of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites that the U.S. Air Force uses to provide faster and more accurate missile warning data to the nation and its allies. The satellite reached orbit, where it successfully completed deployments of its sun-tracking solar arrays, antenna wing assemblies and light shade.

The constellation is operated by the next-generation SBIRS ground station at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. GEO Flight 4, the next satellite in the series, will undergo final assembly, integration and test at Lockheed Martin's satellite production facility in Sunnyvale, California, prior to its launch planned for later this year.

After finally overcoming the hurdles that faced the program, SBIRS has entered its production phase. As such, Forecast International expects SBIRS GEO spacecraft to be delivered throughout the decade.

The Air Force has also begun investigating a follow-on to the SBIRS system. The service issued a Request for Information (RFI) in April 2014 to begin the process of gathering the necessary information to start development of a satellite network that will serve between 2025 and 2040. The USAF is studying a number of options for SBIRS follow-ons. It will likely include a combination of complete satellites and hosted payloads. The service may also use a disaggregated mission profile, in which mission elements are split between multiple satellites.

Source:  Lockheed Martin
Associated URL: http://news.lockheedmartin.com/2017-03-22-First-Light-Lockheed-Martin-Built-SBIR
Source Date: March 23, 2017
Author: b. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 03/23/2017

 
 
ROCKET LAB RAISES $75 MILLION IN SERIES D FUNDING ROUND
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle

Source: Rocket Lab


Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle

Source: Rocket Lab


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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Rocket Lab has closed a Series D financing round, raising $75 million in the process. The company, with operations in the U.S. and New Zealand, announced the closing on March 21.

The round was led by Data Collective, with additional investment from Promus Ventures and an undisclosed investor, and with renewed participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and K1W1.

This is the first time that Rocket Lab has publically revealed the amount of funding raised. A Series A was closed in October 2013 and a Series B was closed in March 2015. Rocket Lab also conducted a Series C round sometime between March 2015 and March 2017. In total, the company says it has now raised $148 million, and is valued in excess of $1 billion.

Along with investing in Rocket Lab, Data Collective Managing Partner Matt Ocko will join Rocket Lab's board of directors, joining existing members David Cowan (Bessemer Venture Partners), Sven Strohband (Khosla Ventures) and Scott Smith (Iridium Satellites).

As part of the announcement, Rocket Lab also indicated it is opening a new facility in Huntington Beach. The new facility will house the company's U.S. headquarters, which moved from Los Angeles, as well as a 150,000 square foot production facility that will produce engines and electronics components.

Rocket Lab is one of a group of companies entering the market to address the need for small satellite launch services. With Firefly Space now auctioning off assets, Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit are the two primary lightweight launch competitors.

Rocket Lab is in a good place in the industry to be successful. The company has a number of customers booked. In fact, according to the company's website, flights on its $4.9 million Electron launch vehicle are fully booked until the first quarter of 2018 and at least partially booked until the second quarter of 2019.

Source:  Rocket Lab
Associated URL: https://www.rocketlabusa.com/latest/series-d-financing/
Source Date: March 22, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 03/22/2017

 
 
SES AND INTERSAT TO PROVIDE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY ACROSS AFRICA
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Click image for a larger picture

Artist's rendition of NSS-12

Source: SES - www.ses.com


Artist's rendition of NSS-12

Source: SES - www.ses.com


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LUXEMBOURG - SES and Intersat have signed a multi-year agreement to deliver internet services across Africa. Intersat, one of the largest providers of internet solutions on the African continent, will be providing broadband connectivity to businesses and consumers via SES’s NSS-12 satellite, located at 57 degrees East.

The latest agreement with SES includes a new C-band capacity lease, infrastructure services out of the SES Betzdorf teleport and a renewal of upgraded Ku-band capacity out of the SES Djibouti Teleport. Intersat will also use the SES Enterprise+ Broadband service to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity across Africa, serving industries such as banking, corporate customers, and internet service providers.

Launched in 2015, SES’s Enterprise+ is a managed, ready-to-deploy, customized satellite connectivity solution providing carrier grade services and allowing a wide range of applications including connectivity for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Voice over IP (VoIP) services, remote data traffic and video multi-casting.

Satellite is an effective way of delivering broadband services to low density regions since those areas do not have high enough population density to make a profit on investment in terrestrial infrastructure. Africa offers a particularly interesting market for satellite operators. Demand for broadband services is growing rapidly, but terrestrial networks have not kept pace, especially in interior regions of the continent. Satellite operators will continue to find business in Africa for the foreseeable future.

Source:  SES
Associated URL: https://www.ses.com/press-release/ses-and-intersat-provide-internet-connectivity-across-africa
Source Date: March 22, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 03/22/2017

 

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