The Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin rocket system says it plans to more than double the number of people it lofts into sub-orbital space upon its New Shepard vehicle. It was a New Shepard rocket which carried William Shatner into sub-orbital space last October.
Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, speaking at the annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation event, explained that his company saw “robust” demand for passenger trips. “The market is robust. It’s very robust. The challenge for Blue at this point is that we’re actually supply-limited. No business ever wants to be supply-limited when there’s robust demand. It’s incumbent on us to go build new vehicles, get them ready and safely go fly, and also safely get our launch cadence up.”
Smith added that Blue Origin could easily double the number of passengers it carried this year. “We have a great understanding of not only, by name, people and what they would pay, but also the volume of people. We can see what that curve is from higher prices down to lower prices in terms of volume.”
Eclipse Global Connectivity is now an authorized OneWeb Distribution Partner (DP), following a signed agreement late last year. Through the partnership, Eclipse will offer new low-latency, fiber-like airtime services, hardware systems and certifications to government aircraft across Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA) to facilitate a broad range of operational and mission goals.
“Our dedication to delivering airborne satellite communications solutions tailored to enable a wide range of government and military missions spans more than two-and-a-half decades,” said Marc Pinault, Eclipse Global Connectivity CEO. “The Eclipse team is incredibly enthusiastic about our new partnership with OneWeb. This new cost-effective, high-speed service promises a secure, innovative solution for government, military and civilian airborne communication needs.”
The initial focus is on providing innovative solutions for global-reach command and control, and manned and unmanned airborne ISR missions. The low-latency service will seamlessly enable combat cloud and applications like video transmission and cryptographic device synchronization. Additionally, native Office365 applications such as Teams and SharePoint, typically used onboard Head of State aircraft, will also experience improved performance. The scope can eventually expand to other market segments, such as business and commercial aviation.
“Eclipse and OneWeb share the vision of providing ingenious connectivity solutions to aircraft operators worldwide,” said OneWeb Head of Government Business Line, Dylan Browne. “Their lengthy and solid history of delivering complete solutions addressing the complex SATCOM requirements of government, military and Head of State operators makes Eclipse an optimal partner for us. It is one of the many reasons we are thrilled to have the Eclipse team onboard.”
Intelsat has formally confirmed its emergence from Chapter 11 reconstruction.
The satellite operator said it had emerged as a private company with a substantially strengthened capital structure to support its growth as the leader in satellite communications. This final milestone follows receipt of regulatory approvals, completion of certain corporate actions, and satisfaction of other customary conditions.
Intelsat’s now-effective Plan of Reorganization, supported by all creditor groups and confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on December 16th 2021, has reduced the Company’s debt by more than half, from approximately $16 billion to $7 billion. In connection with emergence, Intelsat obtained $6.7 billion in new financing consisting of a revolving credit facility, term loan, and secured notes. Supported by new equity owners, the Company is now best positioned for long-term success as it continues to innovate and bring new services to market.
Intelsat also has a new Board of Directors, composed of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and six new directors, including Lisa Hammitt, Intelsat’s Chairperson.
“For more than 50 years, Intelsat has led innovation in our sector and delivered high-performing services for customers,” said Intelsat’s CEO, Stephen Spengler. “Now that our financial restructuring has been completed successfully, we are driving Intelsat’s future development and growth from a position of even greater strength. We have significantly less debt as well as new financing to support our innovation and network plans, complementing our unparalleled global orbital and spectrum rights and strong operating model. We are positioned better than ever to fuel the success of our customers and partners, achieve our strategic objectives, and accelerate our growth. Building the world’s first global 5G satellite-based, software-defined, unified network is just one of Intelsat’s many ground-breaking projects well underway.”
Spengler continued, “Today’s emergence is the culmination of the hard work, collaboration, and vision of many. I especially want to thank our talented and committed Intelsat team members for their unwavering focus on customer service – and thank our valued customers, vendors, and other partners for their trust and support. With a focus on innovation, reliability, and high-performing service, we will advance our business for the benefit of all and continue onward as the leader in satellite communications.”