CommStar to deploy data relay satellite by 2023

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CommStar Space Communications LLC is to deploy an advanced, proprietary data relay satellite to be located between the Earth and the Moon by 2023.

Known as CommStar-1, the satellite will be designed to be larger than anything currently located on the lunar surface or in orbit and it will have significant space, weight, and power dedicated for enhanced relay data transmission.

Drawing on a hybrid system for both radio frequency and optical (laser) communications CommStar-1 will be capable of receiving and relaying both optical and radio frequency communications between the Moon and the Earth, from its access point located in the Cislunar service area.

CommStar-1 will provide active, “always on,” advanced data services over the more than 225,000-mile distance but will be situated closer to the Moon, i.e. 41,632 miles.

“CommStar Space intends to mark another milestone in humankind’s journey off planet by stating its intention to be the first privately-funded space communications and navigation system, CommStar-1, specifically for commercial and government users on and around the Moon,” said Fletcher Brumley, president of CommStar Space Communications.

“The CommStar Space Team and its international consortium members, vendors, and future customers are excited about this new opportunity to participate in humankind’s next great chapter – its expansion beyond low earth orbit and return to the Moon,” he added.

CommStar Space seeks a new type of communications satellite to serve the anticipated needs of government and commercial ventures out of low earth orbit, into the Cislunar space, to the Moon, and ultimately beyond. CommStar-1 is designed to be the first such satellite in a family of similar systems.

Further, CommStar Space said the new satellite also represented a “major step by the private sector” in transitioning from the established taxpayer-funded project models, to the government being a customer.   

CommStar-1 will have the ability to perform several data management missions, RF or Optical, between the Earth and the Moon. In the UK, Thales Alenia Space will lead the design team, drawing upon over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and partnerships with affiliates and industrial partners from across Europe. CommStar Space’s service partners will also participate in the design of CommStar-1 to ensure interoperability with their terrestrial and space-based networks.

“Thales Alenia Space is excited by the opportunity to offer our combined capabilities in telecommunications and deep space missions to provide satellites for this innovative Cislunar Service offering from CommStar Space” said Nigel Towers, head of strategy, marketing and sales at Thales Alenia Space UK.


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