An Ariane 5 successfully launched two commercial communications satellites July 30 in the first flight of the rocket in nearly a year, and the first of two missions before it launches a NASA space telescope.
Planet and BlackSky imagery will be added to NGA's unclassified system that delivers geospatial data to government agencies.
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.
A report from Quilty Analytics projects Maxar will retain the bulk of future NRO imagery contracts and emerging competitors Planet and BlackSky will gradually gain market share.
Vricon, a specialist in 3D geospatial products and analytics, will generate enough revenue to aid Maxar in deleveraging in 2021, Maxar said. The company expects the sale to close in July.
Fleet operator Intelsat on June 15 said it has ordered six new satellites — four from Maxar Technologies and two from Northrop Grumman — that it needs to continue telecommunications services in the United States with less spectrum by early December 2023.
Maxar said the satellite order, which industry analysts say is likely driven by a U.S. effort to clear satellite C-band spectrum to make way for 5G wireless networks, is a “multi-hundred million dollar contract.”
The coronavirus pandemic and the transition launch providers are making to new rockets is complicating EchoStar’s reservation of a launch slot for its Jupiter-3 broadband satellite, according to company executives.
Maxar Technologies warned customers that it may not be able to deliver spacecraft on time or on budget due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Intelsat has abandoned plans to order a one-for-one replacement for the Intelsat-29e satellite that failed last year and will rely instead on leased capacity, a borrowed satellite, and the newly ordered Intelsat-40e spacecraft to fill a coverage gap over North and South America.
Maxar Technologies says the geostationary satellite order it disclosed in November without naming the customer is a high-throughput Intelsat spacecraft that will also carry a pollution sensor for NASA.
NASA will seek continued access to Earth observation data gathered by commercial satellite constellations after a pilot program proved the value of those observations.
Maxar Technologies completed a $291 million property sale in Palo Alto, California.