Sky and Space Global has signed an MOU with major launch services provider China Great Wall Industry Corporation to potentially launch its nano-satellites. The two companies will begin formal negotiations for a launch contract once China Great Wall’s launch capabilities have been assessed to meet Sky and Space’s technical and operational launch requirements.
Aspiring ASX listed telco Sky and Space Global is a step closer towards securing additional launch capabilities for its full constellation of around 200 “nano-satellites”, which are expected to be blasted into space by 2020.
The company has already successfully launched and trialled 3 pilot units that are still operating from space today.
In a market update this week, Sky and Space said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese launch services provider China Great Wall Industry Corporation to explore the provision of nano-satellite launch services.
China Great Wall is a commercial launch services and satellite systems provider that is also the exclusive manager of China’s space program with authorisation to carry out space technology testing with other satellite operators.
With the support of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and other Chinese satellite technology corporations, China Great Wall has 35 years of successful launch experience using its series of ‘Long March’ rockets.
Over this period, it has launched 63 rockets, providing satellite launch services to numerous Chinese and international corporations.
Sky and Space will move into formal negotiations for a launch contract once China Great Wall’s launch capabilities are assessed to be capable of meeting the company’s technical and operational launch requirements.
Both companies will also explore other collaborative opportunities to leverage and expand Sky and Space’s nano-satellite offering in Greater China.
Sky and Space Global CEO Meir Moalem said: “This is the first step in securing additional launch capabilities for our constellation of nanosatellites, which was always part of our business plan. The first launch remains on schedule for 2019 and all subsequent launches will take place shortly thereafter.”
“Given the complexity of the launch and constellation, we are working to de-risk this process and are excited to work with multiple prestigious launch services providers.”
China Great Wall Executive Vice President Fu Zhiheng said: “This MOU is the product of a steadily growing relationship with Sky and Space Global which I anticipate will be mutually beneficial.”
“We believe that Sky and Space Global is a pioneer in next generation usage of nano-satellites and will be a major launcher of nano-satellites in years to come.”
Last month, Sky and Space signed a binding memorandum of understanding with Beijing Commsat Technology Development Co. to tap into China’s growing multi-billion dollar “internet of things” market.
China’s internet of things market has grown at an annual rate of over 20% from 2013 to 2017 and is expected to be worth more than USD$231.4bn by 2020.
Sky and Space has a binding launch services agreement with Virgin Orbit to launch four dedicated missions from 2018 and a further binding agreement with Italian space system company D-Orbit for deployment services relating to its nano-satellites.