Ottawa-based Telesat used Euroconsult’s Satellite Business Week to confirm that it now has plans to launch about 290 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
CEO Dan Goldberg told delegates that under new FCC regulations Telesat was obliged to launch half of the new fleet, that was about 140 craft, within 6 years. The balance, once the second batch had been launched, would be in-orbit spares/replacements. Telesat had previously spoken of an initial fleet size of 117 satellites.
Telesat’s 1st prototype test LEO satellite would launch in November on an Arianespace Soyuz rocket. A second LEO prototype would also launch later this year. One is from Surrey Satellite Technology of the UK and the other from Space Systems/Loral.
The operator is on record as saying that it was continuing to invest in geostationary satellites and has two (Telstar-18 Vantage and Telstar-19 Vantage) from SS/L of California. Those are scheduled to launch in Q2/2018.