Effective Space signs $100m satellite life extension deal

Effective Space satellite drones Photo: PR

The Israeli startup will send drones to refuel aging communications satellites and keep them in orbit for another five years.

Israeli startup Effective Space has signed a $100 million deal with a large communications satellite operator, which will prolong the life of two of its aging satellites. In 2020, Effective Space will send two drone satellites, each weighing 400 kilograms, to attach themselves to the communications satellites as their current life cycle nears its end.

Effective Space's drones will refuel the satellites and keep them orbiting correctly for another 4-5 years. The unnamed communications satellites operator will earn $28-43 million from the extended life of its satellites.

Effective Space was founded in 2013 by Arie Halsband, the former general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1). Headquartered in London, Effective Space has its R&D center in Tel Aviv with 15 engineers and 10 more part time engineers.

The company has raised $15 million to date in two financing rounds and is in the process of completing a third financing round.

How much are you raising?

Halsband: "Several tens of millions of dollars."

Where will the satellites be built?

"We are in contact with a satellite manufacturer but because the contract has still not been signed it's impossible to publish it. We're in the last stages and the manufacturer will also become a strategic investor with the equity being raised of about 50% of the deal and the balance as debt. I hope that an initial agreement will be signed within a month and then they'll be an approval process of two or three months."

How long can you extend the life of satellites for?

"Our satellite carries enough fuel to maintain a 2 ton typical communications satellite, which is empty of fuel, for 15 years. In actual fact, we're expecting to extend activity for another 4 or 5 years, after which our satellite can go and seek out another satellite depending on the contracts that we will sign."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 17, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Effective Space satellite drones Photo: PR
Effective Space satellite drones Photo: PR
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