Creating Space - The Satellite Revolution
Satellites Are on the Rise
A proven technology that has built a stunning track record over more than a generation – helping to create multi-billion broadcast, content and data businesses and markets – is now making another quantum leap into a new era of connectivity.
Satellites, and the launch industry needed to get them into space, are both undergoing amazing changes. While the tried and tested methods of building and launching satellites are well understood, there is now a true revolution under way, bringing dramatic savings and a real democratisation of the industry.
The sophisticated skills of brilliant satellite builders are being combined with equally exciting developments in rocketry, resulting in a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to the satellite industry. These improvements are already achieving tangible benefits for satellite operators, and promise even greater advantages for generations to come.
The Proven Method
The proven method to getting a satellite into orbit is fully understood: you design and build a heavy satellite and fill it with enough chemical fuel both to get it to its orbit and to keep it on station for its lifetime.
The satellite might typically weigh about 6 tonnes, of which half or more is fuel and two thirds or more of this half is burnt within one or two days on the satellite’s flight to its final destination. The rest of the fuel, a little more than a quarter, has to be enough to fly your satellite for at least 15 years. The satellite requires a large rocket able to lift the burden of its satellite cargo plus the rocket’s own massive weight into space.