Category archives for: Guest Blog

Boeing loses Indonesia satellite contract

Satellites are frequently launched in pairs: a smaller craft sitting atop a larger satellite. This is the model used by Arianespace, for example, for many years. But Arianespace’s arch-rival SpaceX is also being used to launch two lighter satellites aboard one rocket. This pattern has caused an Indonesia satellite operator to cancel a planned order with Boeing. The problem is […]

Facebook and Avanti: Not so fast!

One online blogger accurately summed up the much-reported ‘fact’ that London-based satellite operator Avanti had struck some sort of deal with social media giant Facebook. The comment said: “Odd that this deal should be leaked to the press. It must be true as neither Avanti nor Facebook have denied it…” Avanti cannot deny the ‘talks’ with Facebook because like many […]

Will ESA ever learn?

The European Space Agency (ESA) is continuing to back the Ariane 6 rocket development and according to its latest budget plans will place a further €8 billion into the launch sector starting next year of which €4.3 billion is to be injected into on-going development costs for Arianespace’s ‘next generation’ rocket launcher.  The ESA has a meeting scheduled for December […]

Musk: 640 satellites needed

More details are emerging about the Elon Musk/Greg Wyler plan for hundreds of orbiting satellites. WorldVu Satellites has issued invitations quote to satellite builders for a 640-satellite constellation. Each satellite would weigh 125 kg and orbit at 1200 km above the Earth’s surface. The invitations to quote (“Request for Proposals”) are expected to be finalised by mid-December. One unusual twist […]

Obamacare for the Internet?

When prospective Republican Presidential nominee Ted Cruz was searching for an insult to describe President Obama’s clear support of the Neutral Netters he spat out “It’s Obamacare for the Internet”. That’s a phrase guaranteed to jar like fingernails down a blackboard over here in Europe. We (in the UK and the US) are two nations ‘separated by a common language’ […]

Elon Musk backs 700-satellite plan

Billionaire Elon Musk, who made his fortune co-founding PayPal, and backs the Tesla electric car as well as the SpaceX rocket launch system, is now helping finance a plan to launch 700 small satellites into orbit. The plan comes from Greg Wyler, one of the initial backers of the O3b (the ‘other 3 billion’) satellite constellation that’s now orbiting in […]

Saudi TV minister fired

Closing down a highly controversial Arabic TV channel has seemingly cost Saudi Arabia’s Culture & Information Minister his job. Abdul Aziz Khoja was removed from his post earlier this week. “I have ordered the offices of Wesal channel in Riyadh closed and to ban any broadcast by it in the kingdom,” Khoja said on his Twitter account. “This is essentially […]

Canal Plus 30 years old

Canal Plus is thirty years old this week. The broadcaster has a dedicated web-site to help celebrate the event, and reminding users that it started 30 years ago with just one terrestrial channel. The special web-pages offer a special concert, some 6 hours of video looking back at some of the channel’s highlights, and special evening web-casts devoted to its […]

O3b gets Christmas gift

O3b is the SES and Google-backed satellite constellation planning to reach the “other 3 billion” people who do not have adequate Internet access. It currently has 8 satellites in orbit and its next quartet of satellites will launch into space on December 18th. The launch will complete Phase 1 of O3b’s plans. The satellites will be lifted by an Arianespace […]

Chinese billionaire to build satellites

Chinese billionaire Wang Jing – worth $6.1 billion according to Forbes’ annual list – wants to start building a low-cost satellite system. Wang, aged 40, is working with Tsinghua University, and plans to have a 5-craft constellation in space within 10 years. Wang is already backing the building of a new $40 billion canal across Nicaragua to link the Pacific and […]

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