Volume 36 (2011) / Issue 2
Financing satellite projects has always been a challenging endeavour for companies given the high costs of procuring, launching, and operating satellites and high risks associated with space activities. Especially in challenging economic environments, non-traditional structures allowing cost- and risk-sharing are bound to raise the interest of the satellite industry as well as government entities looking for timely access to key satellite capacity. The 'hosted payload' concept appears to make a compelling business case for all participants involved. Commercial partners are attracted by the prospect of reducing their capital expenditures and increasing their revenue, while governments can benefit from significant cost savings, shorter planning and implementation cycles, and timely delivery of services. This article presents an overview of how the concept of hosted payloads is currently implemented in the satellite industry, including via private-public arrangements, discusses the role hosted payload arrangements can play in satellite financing, and analyses several key elements of typical hosted payload agreements from a bankability perspective.
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