British defence company BAE Systems has acquired In-Space Missions, a UK-based company that designs, builds and operates satellites and satellite systems.
In-Space Missions was founded in 2015 and is based in Hampshire with more than 30 employees. It specialises in offering space services for activities covering earth observation, satellite communications, navigation, and space science and exploration.
The company also has an innovative approach to combining satellites into a payload rideshare, allowing multiple payloads to be launched and operated together as one satellite in space. This ‘Faraday Service’ not only reduces cost and time to launch, but also contributes to space sustainability by reducing the number of separate satellites. In-Space Missions launched its first combined satellite in June, carrying six payloads for customers including Airbus, Lacuna, SatixFy and Aeternum, as well as In-Space Missions’ own Babel payload, and continues to operate them in orbit.
BAE Systems already provides space products in waveforms, electronics, antenna and digital signal processing and analytics, with 20 years’ experience in ground-based signal processing for various space agencies. In-Space Missions adds the capability to create, launch and operate complete satellites, helping to enable sovereign, secure and resilient data sharing between different platforms in sea, air, land and space.
In-Space Missions will build Titania, a smallsat to test space-to-ground optical communications.
Commenting on the deal, Amanda Solloway, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said: “This acquisition is a great vote of confidence in our thriving space sector. By bringing on board the expertise of In-Space Missions, BAE Systems will help to expand the UK’s capabilities in low earth orbit satellites, creating valuable export opportunities, while keeping this country at the forefront of a new commercial space age.”
Ben Hudson, Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems, added: “The UK has an opportunity to be a global player in the growing low earth orbit space market, as well as servicing its own sovereign defence and commercial needs. This acquisition will allow us to combine a range of space capabilities that help deliver information advantage, multi-domain operations and networking for our customers. We look forward to welcoming the In-Space Missions team to BAE Systems.”
Doug Liddle, CEO of In-Space Missions, stated: “This agreement means In-Space Missions will maintain its small company culture while leveraging the tremendous scale and new opportunities offered by BAE Systems. We’re already collaborating on new highly secure satellite applications and beyond that, we’re really excited about how this agreement will underpin our growth as an ambitious, UK-owned, prime and service provider.”
This acquisition is part of BAE Systems’ strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, pursuing bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate technology development in key areas, as evidenced with recent acquisitions such as Prismatic, Techmodal and