The small satellite manufactuer, GomSpace, has formally made a launch booking on the yet-to-fly VirginOne launch vehicle operated by Virgin Orbit – itself a spin off from Virgin Galactic. The flight will carry eight cubesats for Aerial & Maritime Ltd, a Mauritius based subsidiary of the firm which plans to operate an 80 satellite constellation for ship tracking and aircraft tracking from low Earth orbit using AIS and ADS-B receiver technology. The satellites will be the lead client payload on a launch which will take place in early 2019. Other satellites will share the launch.
The new launch order marks a change to the original plan to launch the first eight of the constellation on a Chinese Landspace LS-1 rocket.