Sky and Space Global misses payment to GomSpace on 200-cubesat order

Space

MT LAUREL, New Jersey — GomSpace is holding up production on a 200-cubesat order from telecom startup Sky and Space Global due to past-due payments.

Sky and Space Global paid about a third of a 30.9 million Swedish Krona ($3.45 million) invoice due to GomSpace during the manufacturer’s third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

Sweden- and Denmark-based GomSpace said it expected to receive the remaining 20.6 million Swedish Krona ($2.3 million) before the end of 2018. The company said it had already begun to slow work on Sky and Space Global’s constellation because of the late payment.

GomSpace notified shareholders Jan. 4 that Sky and Space Global still hadn’t completed the payment, and that a new payment plan is being developed to accommodate the startup’s limited cash flow.

“We had told the market that we expected that to be paid in December, and that has not happened,” Niels Buus, GomSpace CEO, said in an interview.

Buus declined to say whether GomSpace had stopped work on the Sky and Space Global system, or how many of the company’s cubesats have been built to date.

“All our progress is made according to milestone payments, and that is also the case with this project,” he said.  

Sky and Space Global could not be reached for comment Jan. 4.

Sky and Space Global is one of GomSpace’s largest customers, accounting for 15 percent of its third-quarter revenue.

Buus said GomSpace remains positive about its relationship with Sky and Space Global despite the financial setback.

“We really support Sky and Space [Global],” he said. “There is no bad situation between us in any case.”

Sky and Space Global launched three prototype cubesats in June 2017 on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The company envisions having 200 more satellites in orbit in 2020, with launches starting mid-2019 on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne.

In an Oct. 30 quarterly activity report, Sky and Space Global CEO Meir Moalem said the company was headed “towards the commencement of our first significant revenue streams.”

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