ESA Floats Ariane 6 Upgrade

Image credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique vidéo du CSG – JM Guillon The European Space Agency announced last week that it intends to develop an upgraded solid rocket booster for the Ariane 6 and Vega vehicles.  So, what’s new? Well, the proposed P120C+ booster will be ~1 meter taller than the current P120, which would allow for an […]


A Q&A with @Iridiumboss Matt Desch

Matthew Desch is the CEO of Iridium (NASDAQ:IRDM), a $5.1B satellite operator based in McLean, VA. Payload recently caught up with Desch across town at Satellite 2022. Over the course of an hour, we chatted about (shocker) satellites, constellation strategy, corporate reinvention, Iridium’s moat, “commodity broadband,” Ukraine, dual-use tech, SPACs, and more. There are three […]


Swiss University Launches Open “New Space” Course

For those not intimately familiar with the space industry, getting up to speed on decades of a deep tech sector’s development is a high barrier to entry. Open, free, structured access to that knowledge could help to close the space knowledge gap and, hopefully, stimulate entrepreneurship.  That’s the idea behind a new massive open online […]


20 Years Building JWST – A Conversation with NASA’s Paul Geithner

Right now, a $10 billion space telescope is orbiting an empty point in space a million miles from home where the gravitational forces of the Earth and Sun balance out. The observatory, which took some of the world’s best engineers and scientists more than 20 years to build, is gearing up to take its first […]


Alternative Navigation Systems to GPS

Last week, a Russian government official announced on state television that Russian ASAT capabilities could wipe out 32 NATO GPS satellites. That’d leave users around the world without access to navigation services…and US weapons systems without a compass.  Sitting ducks? As of Nov. 11, there were 26 operational GPS satellites out of 31 total in orbit. That number has been as high […]


The US C-Band Spectrum Saga, Explained

The FCC is in the process of repurposing chunks of mid-band spectrum to accelerate 5G network rollouts. In the US, satellite operators have historically occupied the C-band, a key mid-band chunk. Long story short, those leases are up.  Dec. 5 represents a key deadline for C-band satellite operators. If they clear a predetermined portion of […]