The Search for the Small GEO Sweet Spot

Caleb Henry, for SpaceNews:

Executives who previously worked for fleet operator ABS of Bermuda have formed a new company focused on building small geostationary satellites.

Saturn Satellite Networks will build satellites ranging from 600 kilograms to 1,700 kilograms, and already has a customer order, Tom Choi, Saturn’s executive chairman, told SpaceNews.

They’re joining companies like Astranis in trying to find the sweet spot for the sizing of new small geostationary satellites. Astranis is working on satellites around 300 kilograms, so Saturn starts out a bit higher than that and ends at a much bigger size.

Of note to me is that Firefly’s Alpha with its new Orbital Transfer Vehicle can carry a single small-end Saturn bus or just about two Astranis satellites all the way to geostationary orbit on its own.

That could be a hell of a package offering.