“Blue Origin is honored that Telesat has selected our powerful New Glenn rocket to launch Telesat’s innovative LEO (low earth orbit) satellite constellation into space,” said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith in a Thursday email. “We are excited to be partnering with this industry leader on their disruptive satellite network architecture. New Glenn’s 7-meter fairing, with its huge mass and volume capabilities, is a perfect match for Telesat’s constellation plans while reducing launch costs per satellite.”
Smith said this partnership, along with New Glenn’s selection by the U.S. Air Force for a launch services agreement, gives New Glenn the opportunity to demonstrate its heavy-lift and volume capabilities to civil, commercial and national security customers when it begins launching in 2021.
“New Glenn’s 7-meter fairing has twice the payload volume as any other launch provider in the market, making it an ideal solution for Telesat to lower their satellite deployment costs,” Smith said. “The two companies will collaborate on a range of technical activities to assure cost and performance objectives are achieved throughout the multi-launch program.”
Founded and backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin expects New Glenn to have its maiden flight in 2021 from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Blue Origin is also presently launching and landing its fully reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle taking research and technology payloads to space today and astronauts later this year.
Blue Origin’s engineering, manufacturing and business teams work in a 260,000 square-foot facility on 26 acres in Kent. Bezos is expanding the Kent facility after buying 31 acres in 2017 along 76th Avenue South between South 212th Street and South 218th Street.
Able to serve the entire globe, Telesat LEO will help satisfy many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements, according to a company news release. It will accelerate 5G expansion, bridge the digital divide with fiber-like high speed services into rural and remote communities, and set new levels of performance for commercial and government connectivity on land and in key maritime and aeronautical broadband markets, which are among the fastest growing in today’s satcom industry.
Telesat is a leading global satellite operator, providing reliable and secure satellite-delivered communications solutions worldwide to broadcast, telecom, corporate and government customers. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices and facilities around the world, the company’s state-of-the-art fleet consists of 17 geostationary satellites. A geostationary satellite is an earth-orbiting satellite, placed at an altitude of approximately 22,300 miles directly over the equator, that revolves in the same direction the earth rotates (west to east).