An Australian-backed company is to launch the first three of a planned fleet of 200 new nano-satellites in the third week of June.
Sky and Space Global (SAS) says the satellites will provide affordable communication services to those who are currently underserved across the equatorial belt.
CEO Meir Moalem said: "Our satellites will arrive any day now to the launch site in India and will be integrated to the … launcher. These are exciting times for us as a company."
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has the contract to launch the first three satellites, but SAS has given the contract for the other 197 to Launcher One, the new launcher of Virgin Orbit – formerly Virgin Galactic.
SAS, which is based in London but owned by a company quoted on the Australian Stock Exchange, hopes the launches will start in the second half of 2018 and that deployment will be complete in 2020.
All satellites, including the first three, are being made by a Danish company, GomSpace, based in Aalborg. SAS has raised an initial $7.4 million and is seeking to raise the rest of the funding.