AST SpaceMobile and NASA Sign Joint Agreement to Improve Spaceflight Safety
Space Act Agreement formalizes existing cooperation to protect assets in low Earth orbit
MIDLAND, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 15, 2022–
AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced that its subsidiary, AST & Science, LLC, and NASA recently signed an agreement to formalize both organizations’ dedication to maintaining and improving safety in the shared environment of space.
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AST SpaceMobile and NASA sign Space Act Agreement (Photo: BusinessWire)
The Space Act Agreement formalizes the prompt, detailed, and open sharing of information between AST SpaceMobile and NASA, enabling a deeper level of coordination, cooperation, and data sharing, defining the arrangement, responsibilities, and procedures for flight safety coordination.
“Space is a shared resource that must remain safe and available to all. We are committed to using advanced technologies and best practices to protect this vital resource,” said Raymond Sedwick, Chief Scientist of Space Systems at AST SpaceMobile. “This agreement formalizes a commitment between AST SpaceMobile and NASA to share information and help safeguard low Earth orbit.”
AST SpaceMobile will collaborate with NASA’s Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis program to generate better flight safety preparedness and practices using a Conjunction Assessment process. AST SpaceMobile will upload predicted trajectory information on an ongoing basis for its BlueWalker 3 test satellite and planned future BlueBird satellites with the U.S. Space Force through a website called Space-Track.org. U.S. Space Force will screen the data for any potential conjunctions or encounters between objects up to a week ahead of time.
BlueWalker 3, launched on September 10, 2022, is equipped with a high-impulse, low-thrust maneuvering system to help steer the spacecraft. AST SpaceMobile’s planned commercial satellites, called BlueBirds — which are being designed to provide 4G/5G cellular broadband from space across the globe on land, at sea and in the air with ion propulsion and other means of maneuvering to help maintain and protect low Earth orbit.
Once BlueWalker 3 is operational following in-orbit testing and configuration, testing is planned with mobile network operators (“MNOs”) and equipment providers on all 6 inhabited continents, using unmodified cell phones from various manufacturers. MNOs in the mission’s test plans include Vodafone Group, Rakuten Mobile, AT&T, Orange, and others. AST SpaceMobile has agreements and understandings with MNO’s globally that have over 1.8 billion existing subscribers, and a portfolio of more than 2,600 patent and patent-pending claims supporting its space-based cellular broadband technology.
Follow AST SpaceMobile on social media and the company’s website for further updates on BlueWalker 3’s journey and future progress.
About AST SpaceMobile
AST SpaceMobile is building the first and only global cellular broadband network in space to operate directly with standard, unmodified mobile devices based on our extensive IP and patent portfolio. Our engineers and space scientists are on a mission to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by today’s five billion mobile subscribers and finally bring broadband to the billions who remain unconnected. For more information, follow AST SpaceMobile on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Watch this video for an overview of the SpaceMobile mission.
This communication contains “forward-looking statements” that are not historical facts, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results of AST SpaceMobile to differ materially from those expected and projected. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the words “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “potential,” “projects,” “predicts,” “continue,” or “should,” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology.
These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from the expected results. Most of these factors are outside AST SpaceMobile’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: (i) expectations regarding AST SpaceMobile’s strategies and future financial performance, including AST’s future business plans or objectives, expected functionality of the SpaceMobile Service, anticipated timing and level of deployment of satellites, anticipated demand and acceptance of mobile satellite services, prospective performance and commercial opportunities and competitors, the timing of obtaining regulatory approvals, ability to finance its research and development activities, commercial partnership acquisition and retention, products and services, pricing, marketing plans, operating expenses, market trends, revenues, liquidity, cash flows and uses of cash, capital expenditures, and AST’s ability to invest in growth initiatives; (ii) the negotiation of definitive agreements with mobile network operators relating to the SpaceMobile service that would supersede preliminary agreements and memoranda of understanding; (iii) the ability of AST SpaceMobile to grow and manage growth profitably and retain its key employees and AST SpaceMobile’s responses to actions of its competitors and its ability to effectively compete; (iv) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (v) the possibility that AST SpaceMobile may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (vi) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against AST SpaceMobile; and (vii) other risks and uncertainties indicated in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including those in the Risk Factors section of AST SpaceMobile’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 31, 2022.
The planned testing of the BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) test satellite may not be completed due to a variety of factors, which could include loss of satellite connectivity, destruction of the satellite, or other communication failures, and even if completed as planned, the BW3 testing may indicate adjustments that are needed or modifications that must be made, any of which could result in additional costs, which could be material, and delays in commercializing our service. The production and launch of our BlueBird satellites may not be completed as currently contemplated due to a variety of factors, which could include results of BW3 testing, challenges in completing our assembly and production facility, launch difficulties, or supply chain shortages, any of which could result in additional costs or delays, which could be material. If there are delays or issues with our testing of BW3 or production and launch of BlueBird satellites, it may become more costly to raise capital, if we are able to do so at all.
AST SpaceMobile cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. AST SpaceMobile cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. For information identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors incorporated by reference into AST SpaceMobile’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 31, 2022. AST SpaceMobile’s securities filings can be accessed on the EDGAR section of the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Except as expressly required by applicable securities law, AST SpaceMobile disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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