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.
Last week, NASA released the results of low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization studies the space agency commissioned 12 companies to conduct. The space agency is looking to become a tenant in LEO as it aims to return astronauts to the moon in 2024.
The studies were conducted by a diverse group of companies ranging from big aerospace such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to up and comers like Blue Origin and NanoRacks to business consultants Deloitte and McKinsey&Company. (more…)
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 11 companies to conduct studies and produce prototypes of human landers for its Artemis lunar exploration program. This effort will help put American astronauts — the first woman and next man — on the Moon’s south pole by 2024 and establish sustainable missions by 2028.
OTTAWA, Ont. and WASHINGTON, DC, May 6, 2019 (Telesat PR) – Telesat announced today that the two teams it contracted with to develop system designs for Telesat’s global low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation have successfully completed the System Definition and Risk Management Phase of the program. One of the teams is Airbus Defence and Space. The other is a consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL and MDA.
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Maxar Technologies PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), a global technology innovator powering the new space economy, today announced that its insurance carriers have accepted the company’s $183 million claim for loss arising from the WorldView-4 satellite on-orbit failure, and have agreed to pay the company that full amount under their insurance policies.
Insurance proceeds have already been received from several insurers and full payment is expected to be delivered within 30 days. Maxar will use the proceeds to invest in its pre-existing capital priorities, including the development of its innovative WorldView Legion constellation.
The operations of DigitalGlobe, SSL and Radiant Solutions were unified under the Maxar brand in February; MDA continues to operate as an independent business unit within the Maxar organization.
About Maxar Technologies
As a global leader of advanced space technology solutions, Maxar is at the nexus of the new space economy, developing and sustaining the infrastructure and delivering the information, services, systems that unlock the promise of space for commercial and government markets. The operations of DigitalGlobe, SSL and Radiant Solutions were unified under the Maxar brand in February; MDA continues to operate as an independent business unit within the Maxar organization. As a trusted partner with 5,900 employees in over 30 global locations, Maxar provides vertically integrated capabilities and expertise including satellites, Earth imagery, robotics, geospatial data and analytics to help customers anticipate and address their most complex mission-critical challenges with confidence. Every day, billions of people rely on Maxar to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that Build a Better World. Maxar trades on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information, visit www.maxar.com.
In partnership with SSL, Spaceflight will send its first rideshare mission to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb. 11, 2019 (Spaceflight PR) – Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it will launch two payloads on its first rideshare mission to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The mission is scheduled for no earlier than mid-February 2019 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launching from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
PALO ALTO, CA, Jan. 30, 2019 /CNW/ – SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced it has exercised its right to terminate participation in the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), citing a need to focus its resources on ensuring optimal returns when weighed against other capital priorities, such as WorldView Legion. SSL remains unwavering in its commitment to its customers on all existing contracts.
HERNDON, Va., 8 November 2018 (Radiant Solutions PR) — Radiant Solutions has been awarded a $2 million contract by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to lead a team in designing, building, and demonstrating a next-generation optical telescope system for agile small satellite constellations.
PALO ALTO, CA, Oct. 8, 2018 (SSL PR) – SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, has been selected as one of three companies qualified to compete for Department of Defense business under a contract called Small Spacecraft Prototyping Engineering Development and Integration – Space Solutions (SSPEDI).
NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the contract under an interagency agreement with the Department of Defense’s Space Rapid Capabilities Office. The new contract is one of a number of innovative and promising programs in SSL’s growing U.S. government portfolio.
sslPALO ALTO, Calif. (SSL PR) – SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, announced today it was selected by NASA for two separate public-private partnerships to develop two vital “Tipping Point” spacecraft technologies.
NASA’s Tipping Point awards are designed to foster the development of commercial space capabilities and benefit future NASA missions. A technology is considered by NASA to be at a tipping point if an investment in a demonstration is likely to result in a high likelihood of infusion into a commercial space application, and significant improvement in the ability to successfully bring the technology to market.
PALO ALTO, Calif. – September 10, 2018 – SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that an advanced communications satellite it built for Telesat, a leading global satellite operator, was launched yesterday night and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan.
The satellite, called Telstar 18 VANTAGE, deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Partnership with SSL reflects growing need for frequent, affordable access to GTO/GSO; SpaceIL’s Israeli Lunar lander secures ride on first rideshare mission
Paris – September 11, 2018 (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, announced today at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week conference that it has procured upcoming launches to Geosynchronous Orbit – a popular destination for communications satellites. The company anticipates offering rideshare opportunities to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) approximately every 12-18 months, or as customer demand requires.
Corporations buying the naming rights to launch vehicles and space missions, and NASA astronauts with endorsements and their photos on cereal boxes were some of the commercial ideas floated this week to help the agency commercialize space activities.
“There is interest in that right now,” Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during an appearance before the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). “The question is, is it possible? And the answer is, I don’t know. But, we need somebody to give us advice on whether it is.
“Why would we want to sell the naming rights?” he added. “Well, because then those private companies can then embed in their marketing campaigns NASA. We can embed NASA into the culture and fabric of American society and inspire generations of folks that will create those next capabilities to keep America preeminent not only in space but in science and technology and discovery and exploration.”
PALO ALTO, CA, Aug. 29, 2018 (Maxar PR) – SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, announced today it has been selected by NASA to perform a study exploring the use of commercial habitats in space as satellite manufacturing facilities. In support of NASA’s vision of a vibrant space economy, and expanded opportunities for American industry, SSL will study the feasibility of habitable space platforms for building commercial satellites and how they might unlock new capabilities and business paradigms.
SSL brings its decades of experience in satellite manufacturing and space-based robotics to developing new architectures that dramatically improve the value, performance, flexibility, and responsiveness of spacecraft services. Transferring spacecraft manufacturing to space eliminates the constraints of launch vehicle volumes and schedules and the need for spacecraft to withstand the harsh conditions of launch. It allows for more simple and capable system designs that can be fielded more rapidly and economically.
HERNDON, Va., August 16, 2018 (SSL PR) —SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), and a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, announced today that SSL was selected to help define next generation protected communications for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. SSL will develop, test and analyze antenna subsystem prototypes through a contract with the Space Enterprise Consortium, managed by Advanced Technology International. The award highlights SSL’s ability to contribute to U.S. leadership in space with novel concepts for the U.S. Department of Defense’s next-generation spacecraft systems.