Proposed spaceport gives Italy’s commercial space sector a boost

Italy’s proposed Grottaglie spaceport is attracting new deals with private space firms that could spur more activity in the country’s budding commercial space sector. Sitael, a small satellite manufacturer and Italy’s largest private space company, recently announced an agreement with Virgin Orbit for “extensive collaboration” on future launches and “investment into future launch system evolution.” “The demand for small satellites grows higher every day and the ability to launch on

Big rocket builders are skeptical small launchers will find customers

As the pool of small launch vehicles grows, larger launch providers continue to express skepticism about whether the new crop of small vehicle startups will have enough customers to sustain them and their business models. Small launch vehicles promise to further reduce barriers of entry to space for non-traditional customers by offering dedicated launches for lighter payloads at lower price points. But incumbent providers SpaceX, ULA and others – which

Virgin Orbit considers satellite maintenance, orbital debris services

Virgin Orbit, the small satellite launch arm of Richard Branson’s growing space empire, is planning to offer expanded services for the small satellite launch market. Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart has said the company is looking at market opportunities such as satellite maintenance and orbital debris removal for its clients. The pool of small satellite launch vehicles has grown significantly over the past few years – though many of them