Satellite operator Telesat and Blue Origin have signed a multi-launch agreement that paves the way for the powerful New Glenn rocket to play a key role in Telesat’s deployment of its global LEO satellite constellation that will deliver fibre-like broadband services anywhere on Earth. Telesat’s LEO programme will gain significant cost savings and other advantages by launching with Blue Origin’s heavy-lift New Glenn.
With this agreement, the pair are combining their expertise, capabilities, and resources to transform the global broadband and launch markets. Telesat and Blue Origin have established a strong working relationship and will collaborate on a range of technical activities to assure cost and performance objectives are achieved throughout the multi-launch programme.
Telesat’s LEO constellation will leverage the company’s patent-pending orbital architecture and global priority spectrum rights, as well as the most advanced antenna, digital processing, optical link and manufacturing technologies. Telesat says its LEO will offer a combination of capacity, speed, affordability, security and resiliency with latency equal to, or better than, the most advanced terrestrial networks.
Able to serve the entire globe, Telesat LEO will help satisfy many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements. It will accelerate 5G expansion, bridge the digital divide with fibre-like high speed services into rural and remote communities, and set new levels of performance for commercial and government connectivity on land and in key maritime and aeronautical broadband markets, which are among the fastest growing in today’s satcom industry.
Founded and backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin is developing New Glenn, a reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle that will send people and payloads to Earth orbit and beyond. New Glenn’s massive 7-meter fairing has more than two times the payload volume of the largest fairing in the market today. New Glenn is powered by 7 BE-4 engines with the capability to deliver 45 metric tons to LEO. Blue Origin expects New Glenn to have its maiden flight in 2021 from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Blue Origin is also presently launching and landing its fully reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle taking research and technology payloads to space today and astronauts later in 2019.
“Blue Origin’s powerful New Glenn rocket is a disruptive force in the launch services market which, in turn, will help Telesat disrupt the economics and performance of global broadband connectivity,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “Telesat and Blue Origin share a vision of leveraging state-of-the-art space technologies and engineering excellence to improve the lives of people around the globe and give our respective customers a significant and sustainable advantage in their own highly competitive markets. Telesat is working with a range of world-class companies to build, deploy and operate our advanced, global LEO network. We are delighted to welcome Blue Origin and their New Glenn rocket to the team.”
“Blue Origin is honoured that Telesat has selected our powerful New Glenn rocket to launch Telesat’s innovative LEO satellite constellation into space,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin. Adding, “We are excited to be partnering with this industry leader on their disruptive satellite network architecture. New Glenn’s 7-meter fairing, with its huge mass and volume capabilities, is a perfect match for Telesat’s constellation plans while reducing launch costs per satellite.”