Aussie space company toiling through ‘challenging’ period

Max Blenkin

Australian space company Sky and Space Global (SAS) said it is working through a challenging period and was focused on securing appropriate funding, while also moving towards launch of its satellites.

Aussie space company toiling through ‘challenging’ period
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In its second quarter report to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), SAS cited significant achievements in signing up new business, with six reseller agreements and six memorandums of understanding.

The company said its board and management have worked diligently and strategically to secure the company’s financial position.

“We are working our way through a challenging period for Sky and Space, and are very focused on securing appropriate funding while also moving forward operationally towards launch,” said SAS managing director and chief executive Meir Moalem.

“We are working hard on all fronts as seen from the many new MoUs and reseller agreements signed over the second quarter of this year. We continue to be very excited by the potential of our technology and the nanosatellite communications solutions we have developed, which continue to receive a strong response from potential customers and channel partners.”

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SAS, based in Perth, is well advanced in plans for what it calls the Pearls constellation of as many as 200 nanosatellites in equatorial orbit, providing low cost communications, data and internet services for markets in Africa, South America and Asia.

The company is proposing an additional satellite constellation, allowing full global coverage, including Australia, Russia, China, South Africa, Argentina and Canada.

The first launch is planned for early next year, though that may be delayed.

SAS and Danish satellite manufacturer GomSpace are continuing to formalise required changes to the existing Pearls nanosatellites manufacturing agreement, with the deadline extended to 31 August.

“The extended negotiation time frame may result in a delay to the proposed launch time frame and the company will confirm the agreed schedule upon finalising the manufacturing agreement and associated timeline with GomSpace,” SAS said.

As an additional source of funds, SAS is pursuing innovation grants from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

It’s succeeded in round one, with the Pearls Constellation project awarded the Seal of Excellence for demonstrating high quality and business potential. That’s limited to 50,000 and SAS is now focusing on Phase 2, where potential grant funding is up to €2.5 million.

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