Air Force Leaders Fret As Another Satellite Maker Declares Bankruptcy
Intelsat announced last Wednesday during a press release that it was declaring bankruptcy, becoming the second major satellite company to file for bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was met with concern from the US Air Force’s chief acquisitions executive, Will Roper, who stated that the cash flow into aviation and space has significantly decreased. As the country and world are on the brink of a global depression, space startups with strong commercial backings are essential to the Pentagon but require large amounts of capital that result in long-term payoffs, which is not ideal during such economic circumstances.
Roper also expressed concerns over the stability of the startups providing microelectronics for small satellites despite the fact that the Air Force is speeding up its contract awards to these companies. Roper claimed that it is necessary to protect the broader industrial base, rather than save individual firms. Roper concluded that the Air Force is enabling Congress to provide additional resources to aid vulnerable companies in the aviation and space industry.