A model of Virgin Galactic's modified 747-400 "Cosmic Girl"

Perth company set to provide satellite comms to Richard Branson's space craft launcher

In what could be a major publicity boost for Perth head-quartered Sky and Space Global, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space craft carrier, Cosmic Girl, is considering utilizing the company’s breakthrough nano-satellites for its aerospace communications under an agreement signed this week.

The companies have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to evaluate the potential for Sky and Space Global’s nano-satellites to serve as the data and communications platform for Virgin Galactic’s modified Boeing 747-400 that is used as a flying space craft launcher.

If successful, Sky and Space Global’s network would be used to carry vital telemetry data back to Virgin Galactic’s data control centre.

The company, which has its aerospace operations in Europe, has an innovative plan to disrupt the global satellite communications industry using “nano-satellites”, which are cheaper, smaller and easier to launch than traditional satellites.

The new agreement with Virgin Galactic is the latest in a string of announcements from Sky and Space Global with major international partners that show the ASX-listed company’s breakthrough technology is gaining acceptance in the satellite and telecommunications world.

Investors are also taking notice, with the company’s share price doubling in the past three weeks.

Recent news announced by the company includes deals with Virgin Galactic for four missions in 2018 that will help to rapidly deploy Sky and Space Global’s full constellation of 200 nano-satellites and approval from the UK Ministry of Defence for the use of its UHF frequency.

Sky and Space Global’s CEO, Meir Moalem, said the MOU represented a new and potentially material commercial opportunity for the company. He said “We welcome the signing of the MOU with Virgin Galactic and look forward to working together to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of our communications infrastructure providing connectivity on Virgin’s Cosmic Girl aircraft. Our relationship with Virgin Galactic continues to demonstrate the technical validity of our disruptive nano-satellite technology.”

Virgin Galactic’s CEO, George T. Whitesites, said “We look forward to expanding our relationship with Sky and Space Global by working together to investigate the compatibility of our 747 carrier aircraft with Sky and Space Global’s nano-satellite communications infrastructure.”

The company recently began construction of its first three miniature satellites and is now counting down to a second quarter 2017 launch after successfully completing a key test of its innovative technology.

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