SpaceX and Telesat have announced a partnership to launch the Telesat Lightspeed constellation into Low Earth Orbit. Starting in 2026, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will make 14 launches, delivering 18 Telesat Lightspeed satellites each time. The goal is to provide global satellite internet service with gig speeds by late 2027.
The Telesat Lightspeed constellation aims to provide highly secure, resilient, and low-latency broadband connectivity anywhere in the world. While Telesat mentions that Lightspeed is designed for enterprise connectivity rather than direct-to-consumer, the demand for accessible and reliable high-speed internet continues to grow.
Telesat’s President and CEO, Dan Goldberg, expressed confidence in SpaceX as a launch provider based on their previous collaboration on geostationary satellite programs. Goldberg believes that SpaceX’s dedication, professionalism, reliability, and high launch cadence make them an outstanding partner for bringing Telesat Lightspeed into service efficiently and safely.
SpaceX’s own internet network, Starlink, is already in operation. However, they continue to launch satellites for other companies, including competitors. In the past, SpaceX has launched satellites for companies such as OneWeb, Viasat, and EchoStar.
It’s worth noting that Telesat also has an existing agreement with Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, to use its New Glenn Rocket. However, the launch has not yet taken place.
Telesat’s partnership with SpaceX comes amidst a lawsuit filed against Amazon by investors. The lawsuit alleges that Amazon did not properly consider competing proposals before selecting Blue Origin for launching satellites for their Project Kuiper home internet service. The suit also mentions a potential conflict of interest due to Bezos’ role as the founder of both Amazon and Blue Origin. It suggests that SpaceX, despite having a proven track record and competitive prices, was not considered due to the rivalry between Bezos and Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX.