SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that an advanced communications satellite it built for Telesat, a leading global satellite operator, was launched yesterday night and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. The satellite, called Telstar 18 VANTAGE, deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Telstar 18 VANTAGE will begin firing its main thruster later today in order to propel the spacecraft toward its final geostationary (GEO) orbit. The advanced performance and capacity built into Telstar 18 VANTAGE, to serve the growing demand for broadband connectivity, demonstrate SSL’s leadership in partnering with its customers to power the new space economy.

“This is our second very advanced high throughput satellite that we provided to Telesat this summer,” said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. “I would like to thank Telesat for putting its confidence in SSL and for working with us as a team to make this mission a success. The exceptional performance and capacity SSL integrated into Telstar 18 VANTAGE demonstrates how we, together with our long term colleagues at Telesat, are providing next-generation space systems that improve lives here on Earth.”

Telstar 18 VANTAGE is one of a new generation of Telesat satellites with capacity optimized to serve bandwidth intensive applications increasingly in demand by users worldwide. SSL incorporated multiple technology innovations, including additive manufacturing, electric propulsion, and a variety of next generation systems to maximize the satellite’s broadband service capabilities and provide Telesat customers with a competitive edge in meeting growing demand from mobility, enterprise and telecom markets across the Asia Pacific region.

Once in service at 138 degrees East, the satellite will be in an ideal orbital position for connecting Asia to the Americas. Telstar 18 VANTAGE replaces and expands on Telstar 18 and will provide extensive C-band capacity over Asia, powerful Ku-band HTS spotbeams over Indonesia and Malaysia, and five additional Ku-band beams – innovative payloads that will deliver a new level of performance and value for satellite broadband requirements. Telesat partnered with APT Satellite of Hong Kong in the design and deployment of this spacecraft, which APT calls Apstar-5C.   

“As the third high throughput satellite in our global fleet, Telstar 18 VANTAGE will provide important competitive advantages for our customers across Asia,” said Dan Goldberg, President and CEO, Telesat. “SSL has been a trusted partner for many years and I would like to congratulate the entire team for the delivery of this complex and advanced spacecraft.”

With the launch of Telstar 18 VANTAGE there are now 90 satellites built by SSL in GEO orbit. This number represents more commercial GEOs built by SSL than by any other manufacturer.

Also of note, the satellite shares a name with the 2018 World Cup gameplay ball, which was named Telstar 18. This was a tribute to the World Cup ball used in 1970, which was the first World Cup to be broadcast live around the world over satellite.

About Telesat  

Telesat is a leading global satellite operator, providing reliable and secure satellite-delivered communications solutions worldwide to broadcast, telecom, corporate and government customers. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices and facilities around the world, the company’s state-of-the-art fleet consists of 17 GEO satellites, the Canadian payload on ViaSat-1 and one Phase 1 LEO satellite which is the start of  Telesat’s planned global LEO satellite constellation that will offer low latency, high throughput broadband services.  Telesat is also a leading technical consultant providing high value expertise and support to satellite operators, insurers and other industry participants on a global basis. Privately held, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL).

About SSL 

SSL, based in Palo Alto, California, is a leading provider of advanced spacecraft systems, with broad expertise to support commercial and government satellite operators and innovative space missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, in-orbit servicing, space exploration, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for 60 years, SSL’s advanced product line includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and autonomous solutions for remote operations. SSL is a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR). For more information, visit

About Maxar Technologies

As a global leader of advanced space technology solutions, Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates) is at the nexus of the new space economy, developing and sustaining the infrastructure and delivering the information, services, systems that unlock the promise of space for commercial and government markets. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides vertically-integrated capabilities and expertise including satellites, Earth imagery, robotics, geospatial data and analytics to help customers anticipate and address their most complex mission-critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,500 employees in over 30 global locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes MDA, SSL, DigitalGlobe and Radiant Solutions. Every day, billions of people rely on Maxar to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that Build a Better World. Maxar trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information, visit