Science & Technology

Blue Origin announces satellite launch deal with Thai telecom startup Mu Space

Blue Origin, the area enterprise based by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, introduced yet one more settlement to launch a telecommunications satellite with its next-generation New Glenn rocket within the 2020s.

The most recent buyer is Mu Space Corp., a Thai startup that unveiled its plans for terrestrial and satellite-based broadband knowledge companies (plus area tourism) within the Asia-Pacific area simply final month.

“We have now entered into an settlement with Mu Space on a future launch of a geostationary satellite aboard New Glenn early within the subsequent decade,” Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson mentioned at the moment on the Worldwide Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Meyerson didn’t go into the monetary particulars throughout his presentation.

In a news release, Mu Space CEO James Yenbamroong mentioned his firm “shares Blue Origin’s imaginative and prescient of creating area applied sciences that can speed up the adoption of progressive applied sciences.”

“We need to ship equitable entry to communication companies for all and enhance high quality of life on Earth,” he mentioned.

The settlement follows up on Blue Origin’s offers to launch satellites for Eutelsat and OneWeb, which Bezos introduced in March in the course of the Satellite 2017 convention in Washington, D.C.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket manufacturing facility is at the moment beneath building in Florida, with employees as a result of begin shifting in by the tip of the yr. New Glenn’s first launch is scheduled to happen by 2020.

Meyerson mentioned the response to New Glenn’s growth plan has been “phenomenal.” Primarily based on enter from potential clients, Blue Origin determined to widen the rocket’s fairing from 5.4 meters to 7 meters (17 ft to 23 ft) for the primary launches, he mentioned.

The corporate’s suborbital area car, New Shepard, additionally obtained a shout-out from Meyerson. Blue Origin retired its second-generation New Shepard final yr after executing 5 profitable uncrewed take a look at flights to area and again. Now the third-generation car is being ready for a brand new spherical of assessments.

Meyerson didn’t present a timetable for the take a look at flights, however earlier this month, Space News quoted a different Blue Origin executive as saying assessments had been more likely to resume on the firm’s suborbital launch pad in West Texas by the tip of the yr.

“We have now a brand new upgraded model of New Shepard that has really been shipped to the launch website, and we’ll be flying once more earlier than the tip of this yr,” Clay Mowry, Blue Origin’s vp of gross sales, advertising and marketing and buyer expertise, was quoted as saying at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Week convention in Paris. “We hope to have human flights in 2018.”

At this time in Adelaide, Meyerson mentioned that New Shepard would offer as much as 4 minutes of weightlessness for six passengers, and would fly as steadily as as soon as per week. Blue Origin hasn’t but introduced ticket costs, nonetheless, and it’s not but taking reservations.

Wanting even additional forward, Meyerson touched upon the corporate’s Blue Moon concept for lunar landing missions. He mentioned Blue Origin was curious about conducting “an early demonstration of a big cargo touchdown structure.”

“We need to work intently with NASA on this program,” Meyerson mentioned.
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