First ‘Stratellite’ Launch Scheduled For January 2005
Sanswire Networks LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GlobeTel Communications Corp. [GTEL] today said it’s planning to launch its first “stratellite” (a high altitude airship that will be, in some regards, competing with satellites) in January 2005. The stratellite will be launched multiple times next year for days at a time while various tests are carried out, and Sanswire said a permanent stratellite will be launched later next year.
The editors here at Satellite Today and at our sister publication Satellite News’ Government Procurement Report have been following the development of this technology. Given recent comments made by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) calling for smaller, less complex satellites in the future, if this concept proves successful, it is conceivable that the government could look to stratellites as an alternative to building and launching satellites. The government also could focus its space-based spending on the more complex things that can’t be accomplished with stratellites, depending on them for more short-term missions.
For a more in-depth look at Sen. Allard’s comments, please see the Aug. 2 issue of Government Procurement Report. For information on subscribing to Access Intelligence’s satellite publications, please visit http://www.satellitetoday.com.