Intelsat has signed a satellite contract with Maxar Technologies, placing the final order in a one-time surge in manufacturing deals triggered by the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming C-band spectrum auction.
Nearly a third of commercial geostationary communications satellites in orbit are operating beyond their design lives, a far higher figure than previous years, according to a study.
SES proposed a low Earth orbit constellation to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that, if built, would make the company an operator of satellites in low, medium and geostationary orbits.
Viasat says that co-building its ViaSat-3 satellites with Boeing has given the company experience it can leverage to multiply the capacity achievable with a next-generation ViaSat-4 system.
Two of the largest commercial launch providers separately announced plans Aug. 5 to provide dedicated launches of small satellites to sun synchronous and geostationary orbits.
Spacecraft manufacturers have complained of stress on their supplier base as operators purchase fewer traditional geostationary satellites. One company in France is bucking that trend, however.
In an effort to cut launch costs, companies are looking to technology to transport small satellites from low Earth orbit to geostationary orbit and to the moon.
Maxar Technologies is setting up a new organization focused solely on small satellites while continuing to downsize its geostationary satellite manufacturing business at Space Systems Loral.
Maxar Technologies won't have access to the Canadian military's three-satellite Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM), forcing the company to continue relying on the Radarsat-2 satellite launched in 2007 to support its radar business.