Maxar’s SSL to Build Two New GEO Satellites and MDA Will Get Subsystem Work (Updated)

BSAT-4a satellite artist rendering. Credit: Arianespace.

The satellite manufacturing market for larger geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites has been lagging these past few years, so the announcement of two GEO contracts by SSL, a Maxar subsidiary, is welcome news for the company.

SSL announced today it has been contracted to build two GEO communication satellites, one for Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) and the other for Israel’s Spacecom. Both satellites will use the SSL 1300 platform.

SSL 1300 platform. Credit: SSL.

BSAT-4b details

In a press release SSL said that “B-SAT will use the Direct-to-Home (DTH) television satellite to ensure exceptional ultra-high definition video distribution for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

SSL had previously build the BSAT-4a which was launched last September by Arianespace. The new satellite will be a similar high-performance Ku-band broadcasting satellite and “will be co-located with BSAT-4a at 110 degrees East Longitude, and will function as a back-up that will secure highly-reliable services.”

“We are honored to provide a second satellite to B-SAT that will help ensure high-quality distribution of the 2020 Olympic Games,” said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. “We believe there is no greater endorsement of our capabilities than repeat orders from satisfied satellite operators and we look forward to continuing our good relationship with our partners at B-SAT.”

AMOS-8 details

Meanwhile Spacecom’s AMOS-8 “satellite will deliver state-of-the-art broadcast, broadband and data services from Spacecom’s 4°degrees West ‘hot spot’ to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.”

According to a press release issued by SSL “the AMOS-8 geostationary communications satellite will be co-located with AMOS-3. A contract option has been signed between Spacecom and SpaceX for AMOS-8’s scheduled launch in the second half of 2020.”

“AMOS-8 will bring additional high-quality capacity to expand our offerings and provide our partners with the abilities to add new and exciting services,” said David Pollack, CEO and president of Spacecom. “Spacecom is dedicated to delivering reliable and cost-effective services that are enjoyed and relied upon by millions of people and businesses. We are eager to work together with SSL to develop this new satellite.”

Work for MDA

MDA has informed SpaceQ that it will indeed get work some subsystem work on these contracts. Here’s their statement; “As the world leader in satellite subsystems, MDA’s Montreal location will contribute the antenna systems of both AMOS-8 and BSAT-4b.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. EDT.

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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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