Telesat, a Canadian satellite operator, revealed that it would be listing the companies it has selected to develop satellites to fill up its 298-satellite Telesat LEO constellation. The chief executive of Telesat, Dan Goldberg, explained that they are in the process of finalizing the launch contracts they were filling up with different commercial satellite manufacturers. He added that they would be publicly announcing the lists of those companies that have met their terms and conditions.
Telesat revealed that Blue Origin would be supplying approximately 35 New Glenn satellites in an agreement that is already in the implementation stage. On the other hand, the Terran 1 space vehicle will be dropping the satellites into the Telesat low-Earth orbit constellation as per the contracts they signed. Goldberg said that the funding would come from various deals and operations. One of the sources will be the C-band clearing payments, where the Federal Communications Commission took over Telesat’s communication satellites to use them for the 5G internet connectivity.
The Federal Communications Commission promised to award the company $344 million as clearance payment for the C-band satellites. Additionally, the Canadian government will be bringing in more cash in the contract where it will be taking over some satellites from Telesat to facilitate the 5G internet integration. Goldberg explained that they anticipate the Canadian government to chip in something as indemnity for the satellites that they will be taking over. Recently Goldberg was asked if the company intends to hold a fundraiser to supplement the refunds that they will be receiving. He evasively answered that any proceeds from Telesat’s public acquisition would directly enter the low-Earth orbit constellation.
This month Telesat publicized its contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which comes with $18.3 million to develop and supply two payloads for the Blackjack LEO constellation. The company intends to adjust two of its Airbus Arrow spacecraft and provide them with this contract. This move would help it receive funds to run its constellation without breaching the DARPA contract’s terms and conditions. Additionally, Telesat is cushioning Lockheed Martin’s efforts to develop ten satellites in its agreement with the Space Development Agency. The company offers technical insights on how Lockheed Martin can develop suitable satellites with the best optical connection speed.
Nevertheless, Telesat’s revenue reached $202 million by the end of September, which is closer to last year’s figure at the same time. The statistics indicate that the company would be performing well save for the interference by the coronavirus pandemic. To sum up, Goldberg stated that the pandemic plummeted Telesat’s commercial customers, although it enabled the company to develop satellites that facilitate internet connectivity in remote areas. The company recorded more expenses related to indemnity for companies involved in the Telesat LEO constellation contracts.