Firm planning 100,000 satellites claims it will “clean space” by capturing debris

Enlarge / Greg Wyler in February 2019 when he was at OneWeb. (credit: Getty Images | Washington Post)

A company led by satellite-industry veteran Greg Wyler says it plans to launch about 100,000 small communication satellites into low Earth orbit. The company, E-Space, yesterday announced that it received a $50 million investment and that it will launch its first test satellites next month, with “mass production… slated for 2023.”

E-Space said it has “filings in hand for potentially over 100,000 secure communication satellites,” but there are suggestions that the company wants to launch over 300,000 satellites. Prime Movers Lab, which led the $50 million investment round, said that E-Space’s network will have “up to hundreds of thousands of secure communication satellites” and described the devices as “micro-satellites.”

E-Space said its platform will “help governments and large companies build space-based applications in a capital-light manner” for uses “ranging from secure communications to managing remote infrastructure.” E-Space says its satellites will use a peer-to-peer communication model, and the company’s website describes the plan as a “multi-application cloud server in space… powered by E-Space’s rapidly scalable optical 5G mesh network.”

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