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SpaceLink Adds Blue Marble to OISL Terminal Partners List

By Jeffrey Hill | August 10, 2021

Blue Marble Ground Station (Photo provided by SpaceLink)

SpaceLink will collaborate with Blue Marble Communications to accelerate the development of advanced optical terminals for SpaceLink’s data relay network, and then purchase more than $10 million in terminal hardware from Blue Marble under the terms of a new strategic partnership agreement announced Tuesday.

The Blue Marble terminals will be developed to support SpaceLink Optical Inter-Satellite Links (OISLs) and designed to be compatible with U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA) standards.

“The agreement also provides for the cooperative advancement of our existing technologies to increase the capabilities of their evolving constellation,” added Neal Nicholson, president and CEO of Blue Marble Communications.

“Blue Marble takes an innovative, forward-leaning approach to developing ultra-high-bandwidth communications equipment,” SpaceLink COO Larry Rubin said in a statement. “Our work together will not only provide SpaceLink with advanced OISLs, but together, we plan to develop further capabilities that will broaden the market for the SpaceLink service.”

Blue Marble will join Mynaric in SpaceLink’s OISL terminal partner network. SpaceLink signed Mynaric to a $20 million partnership agreement in May. Under that agreement, Mynaric will supply more than 40 OISL and CONDOR terminals to SpaceLink’s data relay network.

SpaceLink aims to build a relay network that provides secure, continuous, high-capacity communications between LEO spacecraft and the ground. It is designed to build on capabilities provided by the U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS).

[Read more: Bringing Space Data Down to Earth: David Bettinger Talks SpaceLink Plans]