American company Omnispace has contracted with German launch services provider, Exolaunch, concerning its two upcoming S-band LEO communications satellites. Exolaunch is to manifest the two units on an SpaceX launch in “early 2022”. It will also be providing integration and deployment services for the satellites. The Omnispace satellites are being built by Thales Alenia Space – utilising a NanoAvionics 12U CubeSat platform. They are planed as precursors to a global S-band constellation providing IoT (Internet of Things) and 5G connectivity services.
Meantime, the satellite-to-orbit delivery outfit Spaceflight Inc has been contracted by Orbit Fab to deliver a “fuel tanker” technology demonstration satellite into orbit in 2021 on the Sherpa-FX delivery tug, itself on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch. Orbit Fab’s Tanker-001 Tenzing will use a Corvus-XL platform built by Astro Digital and will demonstrate fuel tanker operations using “green propellants” to refuel other spacecraft. The eventual aim is that there will be fuel depots and tankers in space.