The U.S. military is eager to take advantage of small satellite constellations if the technology proves it can fulfill military requirements and the price is right.
The Ariane 5 took off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s Guiana Space Center in South America, carrying the Intelsat-39 communications satellite and the EDRS-C laser relay satellite to geostationary transfer orbits.
Jan Schmidt, the head of Swiss Re’s space underwriting division, said in an email obtained by SpaceNews that the decision to “cease Space underwriting with immediate effect” was driven by “bad results of recent years and unsustainable premium rates.”
Maxar Technologies plans to install a NASA sensor to monitor air pollution over North America on a commercial communications satellite scheduled for launch to geostationary orbit in 2022.
The NRO is ready to start buying products from new vendors and move beyond the single-supplier arrangement with Maxar Technologies.
"We expect our investment in commercial in total to increase going forward," said Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate. "As you can imagine with the increase in requirements, there's going to be an increase in the cost.
The National Reconnaissance Office awarded commercial imagery study contracts to BlackSky Global, Maxar Technologies and Planet, Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate, announced June 3.
The operations of DigitalGlobe, SSL and Radiant Solutions were consolidated under the Maxar brand.
Maxar Technologies reported a decrease in quarterly revenues May 9 due to lackluster geostationary communication satellite sales, completion of a radar satellite constellation and the loss of the Worldview-4 high-resolution imaging satellite.
The company said that while efforts are continuing to restore the spacecraft, "Maxar believes that WorldView-4 will likely not be recoverable and will no longer produce usable imagery."
Swedish startup Ovzon, which in October bought a Falcon Heavy launch from SpaceX, has now purchased a satellite for that mission from Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division.
FIRST UP Satcom | Telesat tests Newtec modem with LEO satellite; Satellite IRG changes name; Maxar in home stretch on US domestication
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