• US stock market daily report (June 16, 2015, Tuesday)

    OneWeb Ltd., based in Britain's Channel Islands, has teamed up with Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, to design and build a fleet of 900 microsatellites.

    On Monday, company officials with OneWeb said they plan to offer high-speed, space-based Internet access to billions of people worldwide.

    OneWeb founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Wyler said the satellite project will be mostly funded by Richard Branson's London-based Virgin Group along with chipmaker Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM-Nasdaq). Cost of the project is expected to run between $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

    Branson and Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs joined OneWeb's board of directors as part of the deal.

    Francois Auque, Head of Space Systems at Airbus Defence and Space said, “This partnership is a fantastic new chapter in our space story. Teaming with OneWeb with a requirement to produce several small satellites each day has inspired us to develop innovative designs and processes that will dramatically lower the cost in large volumes for high performance space applications. Without doubt, this program is challenging but we’re ready for it because we have leveraged resources and expertise across the entire Airbus Group. The agility and flexibility of ‘Team Airbus’ enables us to continue to be a major player in the rapidly evolving global space market.”

    The first 10 satellites will be built at Airbus Defence facility in Toulouse, France. The remaining satellites, weighing less than 330 pounds /150 kg each, will be produced at an undisclosed location inside the United States.

    Beginning in 2018, nearly 700 of the satellites will be launched into orbit around Earth. The remaining 200 satellites will remain on the ground until replacements are needed.

    Brian Holz, Head of Space Systems at OneWeb said, “Combining the innovation and large volume manufacturing techniques from its A350 aircraft production, with a rich history of building extremely reliable high performance space systems, Team Airbus will help us deliver the OneWeb system on time, providing reliable connectivity for our customers. We look forward to working with Airbus Defence and Space in order to bring to bear the best resources around the globe for achieving affordable Internet access for everyone.”

    Virgin Galactic, Branson’s space company, will fly some of the satellites into space using a low-cost, small satellite launcher under development. Virgin will also use a suborbital passenger spaceship to launch some of the satellites into space.

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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