March 13, 2018

Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio and Spaceflight Industries Finalize Alliance to Manufacture Smallsats at Scale and Deliver Innovative Geospatial Services

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–At the Satellite 2018 conference, The Space Alliance formed by Thales
Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%,
Thales 33%) announced today it has officially taken a minority stake in
Seattle-based Spaceflight
, having received all government approvals for the

This investment is part of an overall fundraising effort of $150 million
from several sources which include The Space Alliance, existing
investors, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., one of the largest general trading
companies in Japan. With this latest funding, Spaceflight Industries has
raised more than $200 million in total capital.

the geospatial intelligence company of Spaceflight Industries, is now
fulfilling its vision to deploy a high revisit rate earth imaging
constellation which, especially when combined with other space and
terrestrial based sensors, will enable delivery of innovative global
monitoring solutions and geospatial activity-based intelligence products
and services. BlackSky’s first four Global next-generation satellites
are slated to launch in the next 12 months. This round of funding
ensures production and launch of an additional 20 Global satellites
which are planned to be in orbit by 2020. These smallsats will generate
revenues that will enable the production and launch of the full
60-satellite constellation.

In conjunction with the investment, Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight
Industries are creating a Seattle-based industrial joint venture (owned
50% by Spaceflight Industries and 50% by Thales Alenia Space) which will
be responsible for manufacturing cost-effective, high-performance small
satellites at scale, including the 20 satellites for the BlackSky
constellation. The new company, named LeoStella LLC, will start
operation this year. It will provide a unique capability for the U.S.
market as well as the fast growing low earth orbit constellations. The
executive team is being formed from both Spaceflight Industries and
Thales Alenia Space, as well as other leading organizations.

Finally, BlackSky and Telespazio have signed a joint cooperation and
marketing agreement to distribute each other’s products and services, as
well as co-develop, brand, and market unique applications and services.
Under the agreement, Telespazio will sell BlackSky products and services
within Europe to key government customers.

“This partnership reflects the ‘new space’ transformation strategy being
implemented by Thales Alenia Space, with the aim of becoming a major
manufacturer of small satellites for constellations featuring short
revisit times, both in Europe and the United States,” said Jean Loïc
Galle, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “The LeoStella LLC
Joint Venture, will combine the innovative and competitive design of the
platform developed by Spaceflight Industries, with the industrial
expertise developed by Thales Alenia Space for constellations such as
Globalstar 2, Iridium NEXT and O3b, and will be able to offer a
production capacity exceeding BlackSky’s requirements.”

“This new and important agreement with Spaceflight Industries
strengthens Telespazio’s role as global operator in the greatly
expanding sector of the Earth observation from space,” stated Luigi
Pasquali, Leonardo’s coordinator of space activities and CEO of
Telespazio. “The launch of new constellations of mini-satellites working
alongside the main space systems will be one of the driving elements of
the ‘space economy’ and will allow Telespazio to meet in an even more
effective and profitable way the present and future needs of innovative
services for citizens, institutions and companies.”

According to Jason Andrews, chairman and CEO of Spaceflight Industries,
“This agreement with two leading players in the European space industry
validates the BlackSky business model and reduces capital and execution
risk for our high-revisit rate earth observation constellation. The
LeoStella LLC Joint Venture with Thales Alenia Space represents a game
changer for small and microsatellite production in the United States.
Further, the partnership with Telespazio, and significant involvement of
Mitsui & Co., Ltd., accelerates our go-to-market strategy and creates
win-win synergies for all parties.”

The Earth observation market is undergoing constant changes, with
increasing requirements in terms of both high resolution and much
shorter revisit times. Thales Alenia Space, Spaceflight Industries and
Telespazio are combining 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. The result is a
disruptive product, designed not only for traditional customers in the
commercial observation market, but also to support the development of
new vertical B2B markets, such as mining, energy, transport, finance,
agriculture, manufacturing and environmental monitoring, and even B2C

About Thales Alenia Space

Combining 40 years of experience and a unique diversity of expertise,
talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver
high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth
observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital
infrastructures. Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales
Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that
help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help
observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet’s – and our
solar system’s – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as
humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more
sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and
Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to
form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range
of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated
revenues of about 2.6 billion euros in 2017 and has 7,980 employees in
nine countries.

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About Telespazio

Telespazio, a Leonardo and Thales 67/33 joint venture, is one of the
world’s leading operators in satellite services. Its activities range
from the design and development of space systems to the management of
launch services, from in-orbit satellite control to Earth observation,
from integrated communications, satellite navigation and localisation
services to scientific programmes. Telespazio plays a leading role in
the reference markets harnessing technological experience acquired over
the years. Since its establishment, the company has participated in
major European space programmes such as Galileo, EGNOS, Copernicus and
COSMO-SkyMed. In 2016, Telespazio generated sales of EUR 577 million
while employing approximately 2,500 people in eight countries.

Follow Telespazio: LinkedIn
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About Spaceflight Industries

Dedicated to improving our planet and society from the high vantage
point of space, Spaceflight Industries’ distinct approach removes the
complexities and high cost that once prohibited the majority of
organizations from getting to space and observing our planet. Through
its services Spaceflight and BlackSky, the company is enabling timely
and affordable access to space while redefining how we observe our
planet in real time across every spectrum. This combination of
innovative satellite design, rideshare launch offerings, global
communications networking, and a geospatial intelligence platform
provide the insights that transform how we view ourselves and the planet
on which we live. Founded in 1999, the Seattle-based company has a
well-earned track record of success on a global scale. Visit
for more information.

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