A New Small Satellites’ Division to be Created by Maxar at the Expense of SSL

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Maxar has decided to create a new organization handling small satellites and at the same time, it keeps reducing the size of Space Systems Lorar (SSL), which is responsible for manufacturing the geostationary satellites. According to Howart Lance, the chief executive of Maxar, the company is in the process of searching for alternatives for the business of creating large geostationary communications satellites. At the moment, no decision has been made.

Maxar makes a reduction of workforce in Palo Alto

During a conference call with analysts on July 31st, Lance announced that the company reduces the workforce in Palo Alto in California, where SSL manufactures all sizes of satellites. He also mentioned that a new division will be set up in San Jose in California, which is going to focus only on smallsat work, the business that keeps on growing.

Lance did not say how many employees will lose their jobs, but the Denver Business Journal reports cuts of 5 percent.

The GEO satellite market is not expected to recover

Due to the constant decline of revenue in Space Systems, the overall financial performance of Maxar in the last quarter dropped by 4 percent (a net loss of $18.6 million) to $579 million. According to Lance, the company does not expect that GEO communications satellites will make their comeback, especially with a high demand for much smaller satellites.

The focus is now on smallsat

Trying to recover financially, Maxar has found a very good opportunity in working for Canadian fleet operator Telesat in their LEO broadband constellation program. For this task, Maxar decided to team up with Thales Alenia Space and both received a contract, being charged with studying risk management and system design. In this project, Maxar will focus on antenna technology, satellite bus and propulsion in infrastructure and other electronics.

As Lance said, Maxar’s decision to form a team with Thales Alenia Space was motivated by a better chance of being awarded the project.

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