Cloud Constellation Corp. has chosen LeoStella, the U.S.-European joint venture based in Tukwila, Wash., to build satellites for its cloud-based data storage service.
The satellite constellation, known as SpaceBelt, is scheduled to go into operation in late 2021. It’s designed to give customers a secure place in space to park sensitive data, accessible only through Cloud Constellation’s telecommunications links.
“It’s basically the cloud transformation of space,” chief commercial officer Dennis Gatens told GeekWire in advance of today’s announcement.
The SpaceBelt concept calls for putting 10 satellites in equatorial low Earth orbit (or LEO), at an altitude of about 400 miles (650 to 700 kilometers), with third-party satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) providing the connections to Cloud Constellation’s proprietary data terminals on the ground. Such a system combines the accessibility of GEO satellites with the low cost of LEO satellites.
Cloud Constellation CEO Cliff Beek said that LeoStella, a joint venture created last year by Europe’s Thales Alenia Space and Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, was chosen not only because its pricing was “very competitive,” but also because it promised to deliver all 10 satellites in 24 months.