From the "say WHAT?" files?
Bit of a long time coming, but Boeing finally gets an approved filing for a hybrid constellation
. Its basically a high LEO constellation that will provide (I assume) global coverage at good latency, and then 15 HIEO sats (if I'm reading it right) to provide the big backhaul needs. The LEOs would be big--probably something like the mPower 702X--and the HIEOs would probably be as big as their big GEOs.
Likely they're looking to shop this filing along with some degree of actual satellite design to a buyer rather than build it themselves. Space communications is all about having priority in filings, so this could be a compelling pick up for the right customer.
And not to be outdone by SpaceX or Oneweb filings for a gazillion satellites, Astra files for a gazillion of their own
. Now, I like Chris and Adam; I think together they have the right blend of realism and aspiration. I think they're approaching their launcher development the right way, and I think verticalizing across the shop floor with a satellite platform is also a sensible approach given the way the rest of the industry is going. I even get that, to my point above, getting a foot in the door early with a filing is super important--way more so than having a vetted technical solution at the time of filing submittal.
But...its hard to figure what they're really
playing at here. Big names, deep pockets, and sovereign nations are all trying to fill the satellite services space, and its quite evident that not all are going to succeed, let alone there be room for smaller players. Even Starlink is heavy on technical solution and light on business model. Its hard to imagine what value this kind of filing has to Astra or a prospective partner. V-band might be the future, so maybe that's the play? But Its also very plausible that the other far more mature satellite services players (plus the ever expanding terrestrial services) are going to saturate the market before then anyway?