US-based Spaceflight Industries has entered an agreement with Space Alliance, established by Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio, to accelerate the development of its Blacksky satellite constellation.
The BlackSky constellation is expected to feature 60 small high-resolution observation satellites that are expected to provide frequent revisit rates over 95% of the Earth’s population.
As part of the deal, Space Alliance will make a minority investment in Spaceflight Industries.
An industrial joint venture (JV) between Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries in the US is also expected to be formed as part of the deal. The proposed JV will be specialised in the production of small satellites.
The new deal will also see the implementation of a joint cooperation and marketing agreement between Telespazio and BlackSky to improve their respective product and analytics portfolios.
Thales Alenia Space president and CEO Jean-Loïc Galle said: “This partnership reflects the ‘new space’ transformation strategy being implemented by Thales Alenia Space, with the ultimate aim of becoming a major manufacturer of small observation satellites constellations featuring short revisit times, both in Europe and the US.”
The newly signed agreement is expected to be finalised after receiving necessary regulatory authorisations.
Spaceflight Industries chairman and CEO Jason Andrews said: “This partnership, with two leaders in the European space industry, accelerates our BlackSky business plan by funding our constellation, minimising our constellation production risk, and reducing our time to market within key market segments.”
The company also noted that its Blacksky satellite constellation is expected to be deployed in combination with a smart ground segment to provide services at reasonable prices.
Source: Aerospace Technology