Private Chinese satellite internet company GalaxySpace secures major new funding

The company appears set to make a major contribution to China’s plans to bolster its space infrastructure.

HELSINKI — Chinese satellite internet startup GalaxySpace has raised new funding which the company says values ​​its value at $1.58 billion.

The funding follows a November 2020 round that valued the company at $1.2 billion and underscores the company’s strong position to make meaningful contributions to China’s planned 13,000-satellite National Satellite Internet. megaconstellation.

The round was led by CCB International – an investment vehicle owned by China Construction Bank Corporation, one of China’s big four banks – along with Anhui Sanzhongyichuang Industry Development Fund, Hefei Industry Investment and Sincere Fund. Previous backers Legend Capital and Chaos Investment continued their investment.

GalaxySpace founder and CEO Xu Ming said the funding will be used primarily for research and development of satellite internet-related technologies and their commercial applications. GalaxySpace will also accelerate research into core technologies including stackable satellites with flat panel antennas, phased array multibeam technology, flexible solar panels, digital processing payloads and low-cost mass manufacturing capabilities. for satellites, according to one company. statement.

The company unveiled a stackable satellite bus with a phased array flat panel antenna and a flexible solar panel at the end of August during National Science and Technology Week.

GalaxySpace says dozens of satellites can be stacked and launched at once on a single rocket, with the flat-panel antennas and flexible arrays saving mass and space with the payload fairing.

GalaxySpace’s first stackable satellites are set to launch early next year, the company says, and are the first of their kind to be developed in China.

Galaxy Space GS-2 broadband satellites inside a Long March 2C payload shroud in Xichang. Credit: Galaxy Space

In March GalaxySpace launched six communication satellites for an experimental network called the “mini-spider constellation” using an earlier satellite bus. The satellites and their successful 5G network tests were also seen as relevant to China’s national broadband constellation plan.

“These six satellites will form an experimental network integrating communication and remote sensing,” Galaxy Space’s Chang Ming told CCTV after the launch.

“When the whole experimental network is formed, it will be checked in various application scenarios. It will also be the first technical verification of China’s low-orbit broadband satellite constellation. »

Beijing-based GalaxySpace was founded in 2016 with initial plans to build its own private satellite communications constellation.

The company then recruited Deng Zongquan, head of the 793 national defense program and director of the mysterious “Aerospace Institutes and Control Technology in a National Defense Key Discipline Laboratory”, as chairman of the Galaxy Technical Committee. Space, providing valuable links to state space. sector, according to The China Project.

State-owned companies CASC and CASIC have also formulated their own respective LEO broadband constellation plans Hongyan and Hongyun, but all of those plans appear to have been either subsumed or superseded by China’s plans for a national constellation.

The new national plan is overseen by China Satellite Network Group Co. Ltd., or SatNet, a state-owned company established in April 2021. SatNet has since concluded agreements with a number of cities and is apparently turning to China’s nascent commercial space sector to help build it.

A number of commercial launch companies state the national satellite Internet project as a potential source of contracts and revenue.

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