Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio and Spaceflight Industries Finalize Alliance to Manufacture Smallsats at Scale and Deliver Innovative Geospatial Services
Parties will deploy the high revisit rate BlackSky constellation
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2018 - At the Satellite 2018 conference, The Space Alliance formed by Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) announced today it has officially taken a minority stake in Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, having received all government approvals for the transaction.
This investment is part of an overall fundraising effort of $150 million from several sources which include The Space Alliance, existing investors, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., one of the largest general trading companies in Japan. With this latest funding, Spaceflight Industries has raised more than $200 million in total capital. As part of this investment, the Space Alliance will appoint Pete Roney, Managing Director of Thales xPlor and Vice President of Innovation at Thales Group in the United States, to the Spaceflight Industries’ Board of Directors.
BlackSky, the geospatial intelligence company of Spaceflight Industries, is now fulfilling its vision to deploy a high revisit rate earth imaging constellation which, when combined with other space and terrestrial based sensors, will enable delivery of innovative global monitoring solutions and geospatial activity-based intelligence products and services. BlackSky’s first four Global next-generation satellites are slated to launch in the next 12 months. This round of funding ensures production and launch of an additional 20 Global satellites which are planned to be in orbit by 2020. These smallsats will generate revenues that will enable the production and launch of the full 60 satellite constellation.
In conjunction with the investment, Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries are creating a Seattle-based industrial joint venture (owned 50% by Spaceflight Industries and 50% by Thales Alenia Space) which will be responsible for manufacturing cost-effective, high-performance small satellites at scale, including the 20 satellites for the BlackSky constellation. The new company, named LeoStella LLC, will start operation this year. It will provide a unique capability for the US market as well as the fast growing low earth orbit constellations. The executive team is being formed from both Spaceflight Industries and Thales Alenia Space, as well as other leading organizations.
Finally, BlackSky and Telespazio have signed a joint cooperation and marketing agreement to distribute each other’s products and services, as well as co-develop, brand, and market unique applications and services. Under the agreement, Telespazio will sell BlackSky products and services within Europe to key government customers.
About Thales Alenia Space
Combining 40 years of experience and a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet's – and our solar system’s – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.6 billion euros in 2017 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
Thales Alenia Space – Press Contacts:
Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06
Tel: +39 06 41512685
Telespazio, a Leonardo and Thales 67/33 joint venture, is one of the world’s leading operators in satellite services. Its activities range from the design and development of space systems to the management of launch services, from in-orbit satellite control to Earth observation, from integrated communications, satellite navigation and localisation services to scientific programmes. Telespazio plays a leading role in the reference markets harnessing technological experience acquired over the years. Since its establishment, the company has participated in major European space programmes such as Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus and COSMO-SkyMed. In 2016, Telespazio generated sales of EUR 577 million while employing approximately 2,500 people in eight countries.
Telespazio Press Contact
Paolo Mazzetti Tel: +39 335.6515994
About Spaceflight Industries
Dedicated to improving our planet and society from the high vantage point of space, Spaceflight Industries’ distinct approach removes the complexities and high cost that once prohibited the majority of organizations from getting to space and observing our planet. Through its services Spaceflight and BlackSky, the company is enabling timely and affordable access to space while redefining how we observe our planet in real time across every spectrum. This combination of innovative satellite design, rideshare launch offerings, global communications networking, and a geospatial intelligence platform provide the insights that transform how we view ourselves and the planet on which we live. Founded in 1999, the Seattle-based company has a well-earned track record of success on a global scale. Visit www.spaceflightindustries.com for more information.
Spaceflight Industries Press Contact
Jodi Sorensen Tel: 206-856-4202