DigitalGlobe Selects SpaceX to Launch its Next-generation WorldView Legion Satellites

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (DigitalGlobe PR) — DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies Ltd. company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE and TSX: MAXR), today announced it has contracted with SpaceX to launch the next-generation WorldView Legion satellite imaging constellation.

DigitalGlobe and SpaceX are two of the leading new space economy innovators, working together for the first time to launch the WorldView Legion constellation. The initial block of the multi-satellite WorldView Legion constellation will be launched by two flight-proven Falcon 9 rockets in 2021.

The WorldView Legion constellation will incorporate DigitalGlobe’s and its parent, Maxar’s, most advanced capabilities in Earth observation and satellite construction technologies. It will double DigitalGlobe’s ability to collect the world’s highest resolution 30 cm satellite imagery and triple the capacity available over the highest-demand regions, while reducing capital investments by half relative to the GeoEye-1, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 satellites it will replace. The satellites are being developed by SSL, another Maxar company and the global leader in commercial satellites.

“We are excited to partner with SpaceX, another pioneer in the new space economy, for this mission,” said DigitalGlobe President Dan Jablonsky. “With access to more of the world’s best imagery, collected more frequently, our government and commercial customers will be able to make decisions with confidence and understand our changing planet like never before.”

“SpaceX is proud to partner with DigitalGlobe to launch the WorldView Legion constellation,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX. “We appreciate DigitalGlobe selecting two flight-proven Falcon 9’s to reliably deliver their satellites to orbit.”

  • duheagle

    DigitalGlobe previously launched their birds on Atlas 5’s. Given how badly ULA needs commercial business in coming years, this new deal is not going to constitute good news in Centennial, CO. Nor is the fact that Maxar management now explicitly self-identify their firm as a NewSpace company despite the fact that its component parts were all very much OldSpace companies. The juggernaut that is SpaceX rolls inexorably on.

  • Terry Stetler

    Continuing hat theme ULA says; they will not do a test flight of Vulcan, they need 4 flights a year to come close the business case, and they haven’t sold any launches yet.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    “These companies shooting at F9/FH levels of reusability and pricing are aiming at the wrong flipping targets.”
    The peculiar thing is, ULA and Ariane aren’t even aiming for prices as low as F9. Not only that, but with brand new rockets, they are also losing their legacy of proven reliability.

  • duheagle

    Considering how many other outfits there are that have managed to sell missions on their “paper rockets,” you are correct that Vulcan’s non-existent manifest is yet another bad omen.

  • Vladislaw

    “Dan Jablonsky joined DigitalGlobe in 2012 and currently serves as our President. Prior to DigitalGlobe, Dan was an attorney at Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck and led global legal teams while at Flextronics International LTD, a global multibillion-dollar technology supply chain company. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law, and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Additionally, Dan served as a Surface Warfare Officer and Nuclear Engineer in the U.S. Navy.”

    quite the vitae / resume

  • Michael Halpern

    Most important thing to a business is bottom line, in sat they don’t care how it gets there they care about having options and about cost, I give ULA a death date of 2022.

  • duheagle

    Well, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, but if ULA hasn’t scratched up any significant commercial business for Vulcan by 2022 it could well be “game over.”

  • Michael Halpern

    Considering other rockets in similar phase of development right now of a number of sizes already have contracts and Vulcan doesn’t, (New Glenn and many smalls, also Ariene 6 i believe has a few booked) i don’t think they will be able to get commercial business for Vulcan

  • Michael Halpern

    The only company looking at f9/fh levels of reusability and pricing is BO, Stratolaunch is small payloads so in a different market, ULA and Ariene are sticking with expendable for their rockets, and aren’t cheaper than F9 or FH for the same job,