Low earth Orbit News Tech Updates

Telesat to downsize LEO constellation

Telesat selected Thales Alenia Space to be the prime manufacturer of its global LEO constellation Lightspeed.

Canadian satellite operator Telesat has confirmed plans to downsize its Lightspeed Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation from the planned 298 satellites to 188 with 10 in-orbit spares.

CEO Dan Goldberg gave an update on the constellation as part of the operator’s Q1 2022 financial results.

Telesat had previously planned to provide 15 terabits of capacity with 298 operational LEO satellites for the government and enterprise markets it aims to serve.

Goldberg previously mentioned Telesat was looking into downsizing the constellation during the last quarterly investor call, due to inflation and supply chain concerns.

Despite downsizing Telesat Lightspeed, Goldberg expects the project will continue to cost $5 billion amid rising inflation.

He said Telesat has lined up $4.2bn Canadian dollars ($3.3bn) so far to fund the project from existing financial resources and Canadian government funding.

The company is waiting to get commitments for covering the rest of Telesat Lightspeed’s cost before signing an order contract with Thales Alenia Space.