SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft to provide new lease of life to aging satellites
Major regional satellite operator to hand over propulsion and positioning functions for its flagship satellites to Effective Space SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft
London, UK, 17th January 2018 – Effective Space Solutions Ltd (Effective Space), the UK headquartered company pioneering last-mile logistics in space, today announced that it has signed a more than US$100 million multi-year contract with a major regional satellite operator. The agreement will see two Effective Space SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft launched in 2020, providing station-keeping and attitude-control capabilities to significantly extend the life of two communication satellites.
Effective Space’s SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft weigh less than 400kg and are equipped with electric thrusters and a non-invasive universal docking system that allows for docking with almost all the 400+ communications satellites currently in orbit. The spacecraft are rideshare-launch compatible and capable of multiple missions during their design life span of up to 15 years. Once docked with their host satellites, the SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft will provide station-keeping and attitude-control capabilities that will extend the life of the satellites by several years.
Arie Halsband, Founder & CEO at Effective Space said, “We are seeing steady growth in the number of satellite launches per year, but little progress has been made in increasing the life span of this space hardware. As the space support ecosystem establishes, there is no reason for space hardware to be expected to be entirely self-sufficient any longer. Our technology enables satellite owners to maximise the lifespan of their hardware, and run expensive fuel resources to zero before decommissioning. This will be one of the first commercial mission contracts of in-orbit servicing, in which we will prove customer value, solution viability and the ability to deliver within international regulation and legislation.”
Effective Space’s initial focus for the SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft is on station-keeping and attitude-control, relocation, deorbiting, orbit and inclination correction and ‘bringing into use’ (BIU), however they could equally be deployed in the future for space active debris removal, the support of low or medium earth orbit constellations and in-space explorations, mining and manufacturing logistics.
Effective Space has secured private capital over two rounds of funding since 2013, and in 2018 will be seeking Series B funding.
Notes to editors
A satellite replacement programme’s typical upfront cost for 15 years is US $300m-350m, which includes satellite, launch and insurance. Applying operator’s estimated WACC (weighted average cost of capital) of 7%-9%, results in US $20m-US $32m annual value of deferring satellite replacement.
About Effective Space
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in the UK, Effective Space pioneers last-mile logistics in space. Its SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft provide auxiliary services to space assets. ‘Phase One’ rollout is providing life-extension services to operators of satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). Further phases will see platform adaptations to support the evolving low-earth-orbit (LEO) and medium-earth-orbit (MEO) constellations, as well as active-debris-removal (ADR) and in-space explorations, mining and manufacturing logistics. The company’s SPACE DRONE™ spacecraft fleet has patents pending, will be insured by space underwriters, and will be registered in the United Kingdom by the UK Space Agency, a process which also includes the coordination of frequencies by Ofcom. Effective Space has secured two significant rounds of funding since 2013.