The ASX-listed Sky and Space Global (SAS) has announced plans to launch up to 200 nanosatellites into space aboard Richard Branson’s LauncherOne spacecraft.
Together, the 10 kilogram apiece nanosatellites will form a ‘constellation’ powerful enough to send a signal back to Earth that is capable of facilitating text, data and voice-based telecommunications.
Virgin Galactic created LauncherOne, an air-launched rocket, for the express purpose of launching nanosatellites in a cost-effective way.
"This agreement is the first step in what we believe will be a long-term relationship and it provides Sky and Space Global a genuine and highly sought after opportunity," said SAS Chief Meir Moalem.
"It is expected to not only deliver substantial cost savings, due to LauncherOne's ability to carry multiple nano-satellites simultaneously, but will enable us to bolster our bandwidth capacity as we launch further nano-satellites into orbit."
The SAS constellation will benefit markets which were once poorly-served, including equatorial countries in South and Central America, Africa and Asia, as well as freight and aviation companies in the coverage zones.
"Sky and Space Global and its nano-satellite technology represent the innovative future of nano-satellite bandwidth communications," said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.
"We have created LauncherOne in order to enable innovators and entrepreneurs to launch constellations of small satellites at commercially attractive prices."
Last month, Sky and Space raised AU $4.5 million in funds to relist on the ASX via a reverse takeover of Burleson Resources. The company plans to begin putting its satellites in orbit starting in the second quarter of 2018.