The parties are announcing the creation of a small satellite production company to build the BlackSky constellation.
The Space Alliance — formed by Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) — has signed a partnership with the US-based company Spaceflight Industries. The agreement includes:
- a minority investment in Spaceflight Industries, which through its BlackSky business, has developed a geospatial platform and plans to build and operate a constellation of 60 small high-resolution observation satellites featuring very short revisit times;
- creation of an industrial Joint Venture in the U.S. between Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries specialized in the production of small satellites;
- implementation of a Joint Cooperation and Marketing Agreement between Telespazio and BlackSky enhancing their respective product and analytics portfolios on the market.
Thales Alenia Space CEO Jean-Loïc Galle said the partnership reflected the ‘new space’ transformation strategy being implemented by Thales Alenia Space, with the ultimate aim of becoming a major manufacturer of small observation satellite constellations featuring short revisit times, both in Europe and the United States.
The three partners aim to combine their strengths to offer a constellation of small satellites that will be deployed in conjunction with a smart ground segment to offer services at very competitive prices by calling on massive and automated data/image processing.
Alongside the traditional Earth observation market, they hope that the resulting product will support the development of new vertical B2B markets, such as mining, energy, transport, finance, agriculture, industry and environment, and even B2C.