Articles by Owen D. Kurtin

The Space Version of ‘Too Big to Fail’

In columns during the last four years, we have looked at the effects of the recession on the satellite and space sector. We decried bailouts of the financial services and automobile industries under the justification of being ‘too big to fail’ because of the ‘moral hazard’ those bailouts created, noting that the message sent to […]

By | September 1, 2012

A Tale of Two Dragons

The May flight of the SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) marked a milestone in human spaceflight: the first mission by a privately owned, commercial company (one only 10 years old) to rendezvous and dock with an in-orbit space station, to resupply the station and to return […]

By | August 1, 2012

Risk Factors: LightSquared Bankruptcy and Globalstar Arbitration

In April, we reported on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) suspension of the conditional waiver of license conditions it had granted in 2011 to ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) operator LightSquared to allow the satellite operator to deploy a 4G-LTE (Long Term Evolution — a preliminary 4G standard) ATC wholesale telecommunications network, following claims and studies […]

By | July 1, 2012

Satellite Finance: Jobs Act Eases Capital Raising

The “Jumpstart Our Business Startups” (JOBS) Act, enacted on April 5, 2012, is the first significant liberalization of the U.S. capital markets regulatory regime since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 clamped down on securities offerings in the wake of the Arthur Andersen, WorldCom and Enron scandals. The JOBS Act may offer a new path for […]

By | June 1, 2012

FSS and MSS: Blurring the Lines

At SATELLITE 2012, one of the most frequently discussed subtexts to more familiar topics was the blurring of the lines between fixed and mobile satellite service (FSS and MSS). In fact, Via Satellite’s Satellite Executive of the Year, Matt Desch, CEO of MSS operator Iridium Communications, specifically identified this trend as one of the key […]

By | May 1, 2012

FCC Says ‘No’ To LightSquared

In September, we reviewed the controversy between LightSquared, the satellite operator planning to deploy a 4G-LTE (Long Term Evolution-a preliminary 4G standard) Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) wholesale telecommunications network, and the global positioning system (GPS) lobby. LightSquared’s proposal to deploy about 40,000 planned terrestrial repeaters generated opposition on the grounds that the repeaters’ use of […]

By | April 1, 2012

Satellite Life Extension: The Technology and the Economics

The useful lifetime of geosynchronous orbit satellites averages about 15 years, a limit primarily imposed by the exhaustion of propellant aboard. The propellant is needed for “station-keeping” — maintaining the satellite in its orbital slot and in-orbit orientation, or attitude, so that its antennae and solar panels are properly pointed. When the propellant is nearly […]

By | March 1, 2012

Satellites and Freedom

We usually discuss satellite technology in politically neutral terms, recognizing its achievements in communications, media, navigation, mapping and other fields, while at best tacitly acknowledging that the same capabilities can do harm, as well. The choice is in the hands of the owner/operator or user, be it a government or private entity. That is usually […]

By | February 1, 2012

Human Space Access: A Dangerous Waiting Game?

The dangers inherent for access to space, as well as the security of crew members already there in the period between the retirement of the space shuttle and the arrival of next-generation systems not yet cleared for regular operations, were highlighted when the latest International Space Station (ISS) replacement crew launched Nov. 14 aboard a […]

By | January 1, 2012

Satellite Hacking and China’s Role

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. Congressional Commission charged with monitoring the trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (China) and assessing its security implications, issued a draft annual report in late October that concluded that computer hackers, possibly affiliated with China’s military, had interfered […]

By | December 1, 2011

Live chat by BoldChat