Thaicom to use ‘Space Drone’ for refuelling in orbit

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Thaicom says it has resolved its dispute with the Thailand government and which will result in an improved relationship under a public-private partnership.

The long-running dispute had threatened Thaicom’s satellite activity, including its orbital slots and the right to operate.

The resolution of the problems means that Thaicom can now start planning for the future, and this includes a scheme to use a ‘life extension’ satellite to attach itself to existing satellites. Two ‘targets’ for help include Thaicom 5 and possibly the Thaicom-4/IPstar broadband satellite.

Thaicom has options with Effective Space, which has a growing portfolio of potential users of its ‘Space Drone’ technology including a relationship with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). IAI is prime contractor for Effective Space’s concept. In January 2018, Effective Space said it had signed a contract with an unnamed “major regional satellite operator” with a value of more than $100 million.


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