Biz Briefs – BAE Systems to Purchase Ball Aerospace for $5.55 Billion (Image Credit: Parabolic Arc)
Welcome to Biz Briefs! In today’s edition, BAE Systems announced it will purchase Ball Aerospace, Telesat moved forward with its Lightspeed broadband constellation, a joint venture of KBR and Intuitive Machines won a big NASA contract, Rocket Lab inked a deal for another suborbital launch, a new Australian spaceport signed a major launch deal with a South Korean startup, and NOAA eliminated some major restrictions on satellite operations.
Mergers & Acquisitions
BAE to acquire Ball Aerospace
Ball Corporation will sell its aerospace subsidiary to BAE Systems for $5.55 billion. Ball Aerospace manufactures satellites, payloads, optical systems, and antennas for space missions. BAE is the United Kingdom’s largest defense company. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to government approvals.
MDA to build Telesat constellation
Telesat has contracted with MDA to build 198 communications satellites for the company’s Lightspeed broadband constellation. Telesat said the satellite system is now fully funded through the company’s investment, vendor financing, and funding from Canadian federal and provincial governments.
KBR JV wins big NASA contract
A joint venture of KBR and Intuitive Machines has won a $719 million contract to provide multidisciplinary engineering services for programs undertaken by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. The cost-plus-fixed-fee indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract directly aids the primary support vehicle for the Joint Polar Satellite System program. The award was finalized after the Government Accountability Office denied a protest from another bidder.
Rocket Lab inks deal for HASTE launch
Rocket Lab USA, Inc. inked a new launch services agreement with a confidential customer for a HASTE (Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron) mission from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in 2024. HASTE is a suborbital version of the Electron orbital launcher. The inaugural HASTE launch was conducted from MARS on June 17, 2023.
Equatorial Launch Australia signs multi-launch contract
INNOSPACE has signed a multi-launch contract with Equatorial Launch Australia for orbital flights from the Arnhem Space Center. The South Korean company will launch payloads weighing 50-500 kg (110-1,102 lb) using various rocket variants over a five-year period stretching to December 2028.
NOAA Eliminates Restrictive Remote Sensing Conditions
NOAA’s Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs (CRSRA) office announced the modification of operating licenses of multiple commercial satellite systems. These license conditions had previously restricted the operations of the commercial satellites, preventing them from offering their full remote sensing capabilities to the public.
“On July 19, 2023, the first set of “Tier 3” conditions – imposed on the nation’s most capable, unmatched commercial remote sensing systems – permanently expired. NOAA modified the licenses of its Tier 3 licensees to remove 39 individual temporary conditions,” the agency said in a press release. “Other changes included: a reduction of global imaging restrictions for certain imaging modes to permit imaging and distribution for all but less than 1% of the Earth’s surface; removal of some Non-Earth Imaging & Rapid Revisit conditions; and most notably, a removal of all of the current X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) temporary conditions.”