Nano-Satellites To Be Launched Into Orbit By 2018
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, may see his vision of launching nano-satellites into orbit by 2018
Sky and Space Global has announced signing a letter of intent with Virgin Galactic to use its vehicle LauncherOne to launch up to 200 nano-satellites into space within the next two years.
Richard Branson, had previously committed to developing a commercial satellite-launching program, with LauncherOne, which launches from a Boeing 747, already in “advanced testing” and Sky and Space Global CEO Meir Moalem has said “Virgin Galactic is a truly global company with significant resources and support, and this agreement is the first step in what we believe will be a long-term relationship, and it provides Sky and Space Global a genuine and highly sought-after opportunity.”
Moalem points out that by using Virgin’s LauncherOne it would provide significant cost savings, as several satellites can be launched at once, as well as enable them to bolster their bandwidth capacity as they launch further nano-satellites into orbit.
Sky and Space Global will create a pilot network by launching its first three nano-satellites, called the Three Diamonds, in the second quarter of 2017 as Moalem explains “The Three Diamonds are the first commercial nano-satellites project that is managed and controlled according to strict European Space Agency standards for small satellites, which gives a high level of quality assurance.”
The Sky and Space Global communication network will be constructed from between 150 and 200 satellites, measuring just 10x10x30cm and weighing between 1kg and 10kg, all in different orbital planes that will cover earth from Latitude 15 North to Latitude 15 South, providing 24/7 availability of service.
The nano-satellites are approximately 80 percent cheaper than conventional satellites, which cost around $400 million and $500 million to build however Sky and Space Global raised $4.5 million in funds in May to relist on the ASX via a reverse takeover of Burleson Energy.
Moalem concludes his proposal by highlighting that “Our services will include voice conversation, instant messaging (texting), and also data transfer through our ‘store and forward’ service. Our network will include unique ‘in-space’ automatic network management, which is part of Sky and Space Global’s unique disruptive technology and IP.”