WASHINGTON — The two contenders to build Telesat’s constellation of broadband satellites have nearly finalized their designs and will submit proposals in the coming months, Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg said May 2.
Airbus Defence and Space and a Maxar Technologies-Thales Alenia Space team are competing for a contract worth an estimated $3 billion. Goldberg said the companies are at the end of a nine-month study focused on how the satellites would be built and interoperate with ground systems once in orbit.
“Next up would be getting commercial proposals from both of these prospective suppliers,” Goldberg said during an earnings call. “My expectation is that will happen at some point over the course of this summer.”
Goldberg said Telesat needs those proposals before it can accurately gauge the cost of deploying the low Earth orbit satellite system. While Telesat envisions the constellation will number 292 satellites, it hasn’t said how many it will initially order.
Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO, said last year that the constellation has “natural break points” at 112 satellites and 192 satellites before reaching 292. Telesat may ultimately grow the constellation to 512 satellites, he said.
Goldberg didn’t say when Telesat would ...