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Telesat LEO manufacturing decision bumped to 2020

8 Nov 2019, 22:19 UTC
Telesat LEO manufacturing decision bumped to 2020
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WASHINGTON — Telesat Canada will likely choose the winner of a now three-way race to build its low Earth orbit broadband constellation in the first few months of 2020 instead of this year, CEO Dan Goldberg said Nov. 5.
Goldberg, in an earnings call, said Telesat still anticipates having 200 satellites orbiting in 2022 and 300 satellites in 2023 despite taking longer than expected to choose a manufacturer.
Telesat had anticipated choosing between Airbus Defence and Space and a team formed by Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space by the end of this year. But that was before Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space split, opting to compete separately for a contract worth an estimated $3 billion.
Goldberg did not mention the breakup of the Maxar-Thales Alenia team when acknowledging Telesat’s selection is now “probably more likely Q1 next year” instead of in 2019.
Choosing the right orbit
Goldberg said Telesat doesn’t view itself as locked into LEO, and will consider future satellites and their orbits on a case-by-case basis. Roughly half of Telesat’s revenue comes from television broadcasting, which wouldn’t benefit from LEO, he said.
Some of Telesat’s internet-connectivity customers may also favor geostationary ...

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