Maxar to Sell MDA for $765 Million

WESTMINSTER, Colo., December 30, 2019 (Maxar PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell MDA to a consortium of financial sponsors led by Northern Private Capital (NPC), for CAD$1 billion (US$765 million), subject to customary adjustments. The company expects to use proceeds to reduce leverage and improve its capital structure to prioritize investments for growth in its core areas of Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure.

The transaction includes all of MDA’s Canadian businesses, encompassing ground stations, radar satellite products, robotics, defense, and satellite components, representing approximately 1,900 employees. These businesses are expected to generate approximately US$370 million and US$85 million in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA, respectively in 2019. This revenue is inclusive of approximately US$78 million of intercompany sales to other Maxar entities.

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China Making Aggressive Moves to Dominate Commercial Space Sector

China satellite launch

Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine China’s growing commercial space industry. [Full Report]

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China is using aggressive state-backed financing to capture increasing shares of the commercial launch and satellite markets, making it more difficult for American companies to compete and threatening to hollow out the U.S. industrial base.

China is also leverage “military-civil” fusion to create a burgeoning commercial space sector by providing substantial state support. Nearly 90 new space companies have been created since 2014, most of which enjoy the support of the Chinese military, defense industrial base, or state-owned research and development institutions.

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Maxar Technologies Announces Pricing of $1.0 Billion Senior Secured Notes Offering

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar PR)–Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, today announced the pricing of $1.0 billion in aggregate principal amount of 9.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2023 issued by SSL Robotics LLC, its wholly-owned subsidiary.

The notes were offered and sold to qualified institutional buyers in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A and outside the United States pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The notes will have an interest rate of 9.75% per annum and will be issued at a price equal to 98% of their face value.

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Space Agencies Sign Agreements to Advance Artemis Lunar Program, Commercial Space Activities

Updated Nov. 4, 2019 at 12:45 PST to include agreement between U.S. Department of Commerce and CNES.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The world’s space agencies were busy signing agreements last month to advance lunar exploration and commercial space activities during the International Astronautical Conference in Washington, DC.

NASA signed agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA) and three national agencies in Europe focused on advancing America’s Artemis program, which aims to land astronauts on the moon in 2024.

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Maxar, Australian Space Agency Sign Cooperative Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC (Australian Government PR) — The Australian Space Agency has signed a Statement of Strategic Intent and Cooperation with US based company Maxar Technologies overnight at the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington DC.

Maxar is a global provider of advanced space-based technology solutions, with significant global expertise in Earth Observation and Robotics and Automation. They deliver leading integrated capabilities in Earth imagery, geospatial data, analytics and insights, satellites, and robotics to governments and businesses around the world.

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NRO Awards Fourth Commercial Imagery Study Contract

CHANTILLY, Va. (NRO PR) — The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced today the award of a commercial imagery study contract to HySpecIQ (www.hyspeciq.com). This award is the NRO’s first such award to a commercial hyperspectral imaging company and represents the latest milestone in the agency’s commercial imagery acquisition and integration strategy.

“HySpecIQ is developing interesting new hyperspectral imaging capabilities that have the potential to contribute to our current and future overhead architecture,”said Pete Muend, director of the NRO Commercial Systems Program Office.

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NGA Awards $44 Million Contract to Maxar

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar PR)– Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure, today announced that it has been awarded a new, four-year contract with the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for the Global Enhanced GEOINT Delivery (Global EGD) program. The contract, which begins September 1, 2019, is valued at $44 million for the base year and includes three option years at the same value that would extend the contract through August 2023.

The new contract will allow Maxar to continue providing more than a quarter million U.S. Government users with online and offline, on-demand access to the world’s highest resolution commercial imagery.

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Ariane 5 Orbits Communications Satellites on Third Launch of 2019

Ariane 5 lifts off with the Intelsat 5 and EDRS-C communications satellites aboard. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace marked another success for global telecommunications with launch of the Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C satellites, which were deployed to geostationary transfer orbit on its latest flight using a workhorse Ariane 5.

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Swiss Re Leaves Space Insurance Market

Built by Lockheed Martin, the WorldView-4 satellite will expand DigitalGlobe’s industry-leading constellation of high-accuracy, high-resolution satellites, and double the availability of 30 cm resolution imagery for commercial and government customers around the globe. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

SpaceNews reports that Swiss Re has left the space insurance market due to losses.

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.”

Schmidt emailed clients and brokers the same day Swiss Re board member Andreas Berger told Reuters the company is reducing its space exposure as part of a broader effort to stem losses in its corporate insurance divisions.

Swiss Re is the world’s second largest reinsurance company.

The failure of an European Vega rocket last month resulted in $407 million (369 million euros) in losses to the insurance industry. The United Arab Emirate’s Falcon Eye 1 satellite was lost in the failure.

That accident followed on the heels of a $183 million claim by Maxar Technologies after the WorldView-4 satellite failed in orbit.

Satellite Insurance Rates Increasing After Failures of Vega, WorldView-4

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

Reuters reports that insurance rates are going up following the failure of an European Vega rocket that destroyed a very expensive United Arab Emirate’s military reconnaissance satellite last month.

The loss of the Falcon Eye 1 satellite will cost insurers $411.21 million (369 million euros), which is the highest recorded amount for an insured satellite, Reuters reported.

The Vega rocket carrying the satellite failed on July 10 due to an anomaly in its second stage. It was the first failure of the rocket in 15 launch attempts.

In January, the failure of Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-4 imaging satelite resulted in an $183 million insurance claim.

Reuters reports that insurance payouts of $600 million outpaced premiums paid by about $150 million last year.

The cost of insuring satellites had come down in recent years due to cheaper launch costs and better booster reliability.

NASA Awards Contract to Northrop Grumman for Lunar Gateway Habitat Module

Credit: NASA

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has awarded Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS) a contract of an undisclosed amount to modify its Cygnus space station resupply vehicle to serve as the minimal habitation module (MHM) for the Lunar Gateway.

Northrop Grumman won out over four competitors that had won contracts to develop mockup habitats under the space agency’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2) program.

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NASA Seeks Input from U.S. Industry on Artemis Lander Development

Astronauts explore a crater at the lunar south pole. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In a major step toward returning astronauts to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis lunar exploration program and preparing for future missions to Mars, NASA is seeking comments from American companies interested in providing an integrated human landing system to put the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

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NASA Chooses Maxar to Integrate Pollution Monitoring Payload on Commercial Satellite

An artist’s impression of TEMPO on Maxar’s 1300-class satellite platform. (Credit: Maxar Technologies)

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR) today announced that it will integrate and fly NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument on a 1300-class satellite in geostationary (GEO) orbit. TEMPO will be the first space-based instrument to provide hourly monitoring of major air pollutants during the daytime across the North American continent at high spatial resolution.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Set to Lift off Wednesday with 3 Canadian Radarsats

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, June 12 for launch of RADARSAT Constellation Mission from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The primary launch window opens at 7:17a.m. PDT, or 14:17UTC, and closes at 7:30 a.m. PDT, or 14:30 UTC. The satellites will begin deployment approximately 54 minutes after launch. A backup launch window opens on Thursday, June13 at 7:17a.m. PDT, or 14:17 UTC,and closes at 7:30 a.m. PDT, or 14:30 UTC.

Falcon 9’s first stage for launch of RADARSAT Constellation Mission previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission in March 2019. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to land on SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 (LZ-4) at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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