Magazine Store






Aerospacelab was appointed to ...


Aerospacelab was appointed to build Xona Space’s first navigation satellite

Aerospacelab Xona Space’s first navigation satellite
The Silicon Review
26 March, 2024

The Belgian manufacturer will produce Xona’s satellite in the United States

Belgian startup Aerospacelab, specializing in small satellite manufacturing and operations, has unveiled a new collaboration with U.S.-based firm Xona Space Systems. In the partnership announced on March 19, Aerospacelab clinched a contract to construct Xona Space's inaugural positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) satellite. Xona Space is in the process of developing a commercial PNT service using a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites, positioning it as a backup to the Global Positioning System. The satellite, to be produced by Aerospacelab, will roll out from the startup's forthcoming facility in the United States, with specific details regarding location and timeline set for an imminent announcement, as confirmed by Tina Ghataore, Aerospacelab's chief strategy and revenue officer.

Aerospacelab, established in 2018, has already achieved orbit launches as part of its remote-sensing endeavors, with U.S.-based Albedo among its clientele, planning an optical and thermal imaging constellation in very low Earth orbit. In addition to satellite construction, Aerospacelab will provide support in securing the requisite satellite operator's license and offer launch operational assistance for a two-year period under the agreement. Xona Space, headquartered in California, initially tailored its PNT service for applications like self-driving cars and drones but envisions broader opportunities in the defense sector, given the U.S. military's pursuit of GPS alternatives. Lockheed Martin's venture arm, a key investor in Xona Space, aligns with the startup's plans to deploy a constellation of 250 to 300 small satellites in low Earth orbit over the next few years.