Satellogic Gets NOAA License for Move to the United States

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Satellogic has received a remote sensing license in the United States, the Earth observation operator announced Nov. 21 as it moves operations to the country from Uruguay in search of more government business.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) license covers 36 sub-meter resolution satellites already in low Earth orbit, Satellogic president Matt Tirman said, as well as plans to grow the constellation in coming years.

The company said NOAA granted the license following an inter-agency review that assessed national security and other risks. 

It is Satellogic’s first such license because Uruguay does not have regulation requiring it — or a remote sensing agency.

Currently headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, and registered in the British Virgin Islands, Satellogic recently outlined plans to relocate to sell high-resolution multispectral imagery directly to the U.S. government instead of through third parties.

The company announced plans to redomicile to Delaware Sept. 21, when it reported a $30 million net loss for the first half of 2023, compared with a $8 million net loss for the same period in 2022.

Although revenue jumped 33% year-over-year to $3.2 million for the period, this is far behind the $30-50 million the company expected in December to make for the full year. The company had earlier projected $132 million in sales for 2023.

Satellogic’s shares started a downward trend shortly after listing on NASDAQ in early 2022, joining other underperforming space stocks that went public by merging with a blank check firm known as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 

From a high this year of $4.03, the shares recently reached a new low of $0.69 before rising to trade around the $1 mark. 

Tirman, formerly Satellogic’s chief commercial officer who was promoted in September to lead relocation efforts, said the company will work with a ground station provider in the United States as part of plans to move operational control of the constellation to the country.

Satellogic ultimately aims to operate a full constellation of 200 satellites so it can map the world daily.

The operator builds its dishwasher-sized spacecraft in-house, and announced plans earlier this year to also sell them to other companies, although it has not yet announced a customer for this line of business.

Source: Space News