The satellite operator Telesat has chosen to entrust Thales Alenia Space with the task of setting up its future constellation of Lightspeed communications satellites. It is intended to provide high speed internet access.
Commissioning in 2024
The first satellites “Should be launched in about two years (…) and commercial services to start in the second half of 2023”, says Telesat in a press release.
The last launches would take place in 2025, but “We will be able to provide a full global service in 2024”, argues Dan Goldberg, CEO of Telesat.
The 298 satellites positioned in polar and inclined orbits between 1,015 and 1,325 kilometers altitude will allow lower latency than geostationary satellites. Lightspeed goes “Offer the same type of performance as terrestrial fiber optic networks, at an affordable cost, on a global scale”, explained to AFP Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
A budget of five billion
The total cost of the project for the Canadian operator is five billion dollars. Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between the French Thales (67%) and the Italian Leonardo (33%), won after a call for tenders launched in 2017. The European Airbus was also participating.
The Telesat constellation is added to the many projects in low orbit, such as Starlink from the American SpaceX or Oneweb, taken over by the British government and Indian Bharti.