SES Government Solutions (SES GS), in partnership with Planet Labs PBC (Planet), has won a $29 million contract from NASA’s Communications Services Project (CSP) to support the development of near-Earth communication services.
SES will partner with Planet to develop a real-time always-on low-latency connectivity solution enabled by SES’s geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) constellations, including O3b mPOWER, to further NASA missions.
SES will demonstrate commercial radio frequency GEO C-band and MEO Ka-band relay networks for SATCOM services to spacecraft in low earth orbit. These services include routine missions, contingency operations, launch and ascent, and early operations phase communications.
The solution proposed by SES GS will deliver cost-effective mission-oriented operations, enabling high-rate and high-capacity two-way communications.
The company will complete technology development and in-space demonstrations by 2025, with NASA intending to seek multiple long-term contracts to acquire services for near-Earth operations by 2030. The adoption of innovative SATCOM service will support NASA in phasing out its proprietary systems, as well as other NASA-operated systems.
“Combining the multi-orbit capabilities of SES, the global leader in delivering content and connectivity solutions via satellite, with that of Planet Labs, one of the world’s leading commercial imaging companies, will create the world’s first high-throughput commercial space relay service, enabling timely and data-driven decisions,” said Pete Hoene, President and CEO of SES Government Solutions.