Satellite and Space Projects News June 2022 | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content

Satellite and Space Projects News June 2022

John Worthy


United Kingdom

Fieldfisher webinar - Space: Achieving Sustainability and Net Zero, 30 June: our next space webinar will focus on one of the hot topics of the moment: the multiple challenges and opportunities in engaging with sustainability and managing climate change. With a stellar panel of expert panellists Anthony Baker, CEO of SatelliteVu, Simon Reid, COO of D-Orbit UK, Nick Shave, UK MD of Astroscale, and Martin Soltau, Head of Space at Frazer Nash Consultancy and Co-Chair of the Space Energy Initiative, this event will debate the big issues for the space sector in the UK and internationally. Please register to join us then.

Orbex unveils prototype small sat launch vehicle: UK orbital launch services company, Orbex, has unveiled the first full scale prototype of its environmentally sustainable Prime orbital space rocket. The launch system uses an ultra-low carbon renewable biofuel – Calor's BioLPG – that produces 90% lower carbon emissions than comparable fossil-fuel-based launch systems. The re-usable rocket has been engineered as a "zero-debris" solution that will not leave any debris on Earth or in space.

Telesat plans reduction in Lightspeed satellites: In an earnings call on 6 May, Dan Goldberg, CEO of Telesat, confirmed the company's plans to reduce by one third the planned number of Low Earth Orbit satellites in its Lightspeed network. The reduction – from 298 to 188 satellites – has been driven by supply chain issues and inflation, and will keep the project within its $5 billion budget.

UK and USA agree new space partnership: The UK and USA signed a landmark declaration on 11 May to work together on future commercial spaceflight missions. The partnership will help to streamline processes and boost opportunities for operators in each country to launch from the other's spaceports, through close collaboration on commercial space launch licensing.

OneWeb could see US$1bn revenue in 3 to 5 years: In a May 2022 investor presentation, Eutelsat has predicted that OneWeb will generate revenues of US$1bn within 3 to 5 years of deployment. With a 22.9% stake, Eutelsat is the second largest shareholder in OneWeb.  

SpaceX raises new funding: Elon Musk's SpaceX announced on 13 June that it had raised US$1.68bn of new funding. The funding round will support its Starship and Starlink programmes and brings SpaceX's valuation to around $125bn.

SaxaVord receives approvals for launch site: SaxaVord Spaceport has secured planning permission for its final planning applications in connection with its spaceport on the Lamba Ness peninsula in Unst, Scotland. The latest approvals relate to a Launch and Range Control Centre and a new section of road to improve site access. Construction is expected to progress over the summer. SaxaVord also intends to run a site-wide dress rehearsal in early July, in preparation for a commercial launch later this year, in what will be the UK's first vertical rocket launch.