WASHINGTON – BAE Systems announced on September 14 its intention to acquire In-Space Missions, a company that recently won a contract to build a British military satellite.
BAE Systems will acquire space missions to improve its capabilities to develop small satellites for government and commercial customers. The companies refused to disclose the value of the deal.
“The UK has the opportunity to be a global player in the growing low-earth orbit space market, as well as to meet its own defense and sovereign commercial needs,” said Ben Hudson, director of technology at BAE Systems, in a statement. “This acquisition will allow us to combine a range of space capabilities that help deliver an information advantage, multi-domain operations and networking to our customers. “
In-Space Missions placed its first small satellite, Faraday Phoenix, into orbit on the SpaceX Transporter-2 carpool mission in June. The company’s first Faraday satellite was lost during a failed launch of Rocket Lab Electron in July 2020.
“This agreement means that In-Space Missions will maintain its small business culture while taking advantage of the enormous scale and new opportunities offered by BAE Systems,” said Doug Liddle, Managing Director of In-Space Missions, in a statement. communicated. He told SpaceNews that the company, with more than 30 employees, will operate as a stand-alone business unit within BAE Applied Intelligence, the part of BAE Systems that includes other space activities, such as ground systems and manufacturing. .
In-Space Missions won a £ 9.5million ($ 13.2million) contract from the Department of Defense and Defense Science and Technology Laboratory on August 9 to build a small satellite experimental called Titania. The satellite, scheduled for launch in 2023, will test space-to-ground laser communications.
The UK government has signaled its support for the deal. “This acquisition is a great vote of confidence in our thriving space industry,” Science Minister Amanda Solloway said in a statement. “By integrating space mission expertise, BAE Systems will help expand the UK’s capabilities in low-earth orbit satellites, thus creating valuable export opportunities while keeping the country ahead. guard of a new era of commercial space. “