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NorthStar contracts Thales Alenia Space to build satellites for Skylark constellation

NorthStar's Skylark constellation services are designed to revolutionise the safety of spaceflight.

Canadian company NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar) has contracted Thales Alenia Space to build the first three satellites of its debut Skylark constellation for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services, with Seattle, WA’s LeoStella overseeing the final assembly.

With commercial space en route to a forecast $2.7tn industry, new satellites and planned mega-constellations are launching into an environment congested with traffic and space debris. NorthStar’s Skylark constellation services are designed to revolutionise the safety of spaceflight.

NorthStar is the first commercial service to monitor space, from space, via a constellation of satellites with dedicated optical sensors.  With a secure data-driven 3D catalogue of the entire space environment powered by advanced SSA analytics, NorthStar will deliver timely and precise space traffic data, collision avoidance and navigation services to the global satellite community.

Commenting on the development, Stewart Bain, CEO and co-founder, NorthStar Earth & Space said: “The New Space Economy depends on the safety and sustainability of space. NorthStar, the first commercial SSA system based in space, will deliver essential information to space operators, enabling safe navigation and supporting global space traffic management. We are here to make space safe for doing business, now and into the future.”

Herve Derrey, CEO, Thales Alenia Space added: “The Space Alliance is proud to contribute to NorthStar success. Thales Alenia Space will bring its world-class expertise in optical instruments associated with Leostella multimission platforms to support this important mission. Skylark materialises a first step in providing evergreen information to the satellite operators.”