Iridium's NEXT 10 Satellites Arrive at Vandenberg AFB for June 25 LaunchIridium Communications has announced that all 10 Iridium NEXT satellites have arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California and are being processed for the second launch that is scheduled for June 25th at 1:25 p.m. PDT (20:25 UTC) — this launch starts an ambitious deployment cadence for the additional six SpaceX launches of Iridium NEXT satellites.
The June 25th launch is the second of eight launches for the Iridium NEXT program. Under the lead of Thales Alenia Space (Iridium NEXT System Prime Contractor), the satellites were shipped in pairs from the Orbital ATK Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Arizona. The satellites were transported in specially designed motion and temperature-controlled shipping containers.
Facebook Talks Plans to Connect the Other 4 BillionFacebook wants to use solar powered Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to connect up to 66 percent of the planet, considered remote areas, with outdated or no internet service at all. On June 7 at the fourth-annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit, David Hansell, who serves as the leader of Facebook’s global aviation policy, gave an audience of satellite and aviation professionals an update on the company’s Aquila project.
The Silicon Valley-based company, known for its popular social media network, completed the first successful flight of its solar-powered autonomous aircraft, Aquila, on June 28, 2016, in Yuma, Arizona. The aircraft has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737, and a carbon fiber composite airframe that weighs less than 1,000 pounds.
Inmarsat launches solution to boost cyber securityInmarsat is launching a unified threat management (UTM) solution to take away cyber security risks. The solution – which will be available later this year – will be embedded within existing hardware onboard and is described as a ‘virtual machine’ that can be provisioned at any time, to provide data inspection and protection for the cyber security of the vessel by inspecting all traffic flows through the onboard controller.
“If a server or client is compromised, it can be isolated automatically and keep the rest of the network clean,” explained Inmarsat senior vice president for safety and security services Peter Broadhurst. All incidents are reported back to the portal so that the ship operator can be alerted to any cyber security breaches and take corrective action.
Orbital ATK Successfully Concludes Seventh Cargo Logistics Mission to the International Space StationDulles, Virginia 11 June 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that its “S.S. John Glenn” Cygnus spacecraft successfully completed its seventh cargo logistics mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-1) contract. The mission also marked the third time that Cygnus was used as a research platform for conducting in-space research with all mission objectives executed as planned.
AST launches the world's first real-time application control for satellite communicationsThe AST Group, a leading global provider of satellite communications services and solutions, today announces the launch of INTEGRA Control, which offers the first real-time application control for satellite communications.
And the launch of INTEGRA Edge, a purpose-built hardware solution for maritime communications, which now makes it easy to manage traffic on board vessels. Both solutions enable users to block unwanted traffic to instantly save money and use their bandwidth more efficiently.
HughesNet Gen5 Surpasses 100,000 Subscribers In Two MonthsHughes Network Systems announced that its recently launched HughesNet Gen5 satellite internet service is now serving more than 100,000 homes and small businesses, including both new subscribers and upgrades. According to the company, subscribers in every continental U.S. state have been connected to the service.
Launched in late March 2017, new customers to HughesNet Gen5 are experiencing faster speeds, more data, built-in Wi-Fi and an overall improved internet experience, Hughes stated. HughesNet Gen5 offers Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defined broadband speeds — 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload — from coast-to-coast.
Proton returns after year hiatus with EchoStar-21 launchRussia’s Proton rocket returned to service June 7, almost one year to the date from vehicle’s last flight, delivering a U.S. telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
The commercial mission, organized by International Launch Services of Reston, Virginia, lifted off at 11:45 p.m. Eastern Time (9:45 a.m. local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying the EchoStar-21 S-band satellite for Englewood, Colorado-based fleet operator EchoStar.
Roscosmos confirmed June 8 that EchoStar-21 separated from Proton’s Breeze-M upper stage 9 hours and 13 minutes into the mission after five separate engine burns, as planned.
Meet Else, the Thuraya-backed smallsat startup that wants to connect things with cubesatsBy cost, Swiss startup Else is the smallest low-Earth orbit venture to have partnered with an established geostationary operator as the prevailing industry mindset shifts from skepticism to opportunity. The company estimates it can build, launch and operate a 64-cubesat constellation for less than $50 million to provide low-data-rate communications.
Dubai-based mobile satellite services provider Thuraya, in the midst of designing its own next-generation geostationary constellation called Futura, partnered with Else in April to collaborate on technical and regulatory fronts, along with combined sales and marketing of products.