AST Space Mobile has ordered additional cargo space from SpaceX for its communications satellites. Previously, they were planned to be launched via the Russian Soyuz. However, the aggressor’s attack on Ukraine buried these plans.
Satellite company has found a replacement for Soyuz
Elon Musk is beginning to replace Roscosmos in all international projects in which they participated. At least, Dmitry Rogozin’s former clients are gradually moving to SpaceX.
One of them is the satellite operator AST Space Mobile, which is building its orbital grouping in order to use signals from it on mobile devices. Earlier it was planned that one of their satellites — BlueWalker-3 — would be launched using a Soyuz rocket. Accordingly, there was an agreement with Russia. However, the imposition of sanctions and the refusal of Roscosmos to cooperate with Western companies put paid to these plans.
Currently, AST Space Mobile has announced that they have signed a contract with SpaceX to launch their satellite in August 2022. The agreement was signed on March 8. It involves not one, but a whole series of launches, the total cost of which is USD 22.7 million.
What is AST Space Mobile?
AST Space Mobile is a relatively new company that entered the space services market only last year. It is planned that, unlike the same Starlink, the Internet connection, which will be carried out by its satellites, will be available not only from special terminals, but also from ordinary mobile phones.
For this purpose, the company plans to launch 110 satellites into orbit, each of which has a mass of 1500 kg. The first 20 of them are to be launched into space by mid-2023. They will provide basic coverage in 49 countries. The others will be launched before the end of 2024. And now SpaceX, not Roscosmos, will play the main role in this.
According to Spacenews.com