Spacetech startup NSLComm is gearing up to put its first satellite into orbit, aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket launching this Friday at 1:42 AM ET. Not only is the launch a first for the company, but it’s also the first deployment of a new kind of satellite technology, an expandable antenna solution created by NSLComm which is the secret ingredient that will unlock a number of different lines of business for the fledgling Israeli startup.
“Satellite communication is too expensive,” explained NSLComm CEO and co-founder Raz Itzhaki in an interview. “And this is the case, because satellites are expensive. A communication satellite is basically a dish in space, you want more communication, you need a larger dish. But a larger dish requires a larger satellite, and a larger launcher, so everything becomes more expensive. This is why if you launch a geostationary communication satellite you have to launch it for 20 years, because it has an ROI of more than 10 years. It weighs tons because it needs to live for 15-20 years, and when you sell the capacity, you pay hundreds of billions per megabit per second per month, because you need to return the amount of investment in the satellite.”