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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Maxar Technologies' SSL, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems were selected to compete for future small satellite development contracts that could be worth up to $750 million.
One of the two commercial GEO satellite contracts Space Systems Loral announced this year now appears in doubt following Israel's announcement that Amos-8 will be built domestically.
SSL, a company known for building communications satellites and spacecraft systems, will help the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center define its next generation of protected military communications, the Maxar Technologies company announced Aug. 16.
In the coming years, defense and intelligence agencies will rely on small satellites to enhance the capabilities of large government-owned and -operated spacecraft.
Telesat and MDA will be requesting money from the Canadian government’s new special fund to finance low-Earth-orbit satellite systems, officials from both companies say.