Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) has announced that an agreement that it made with Intelsat S.A. last March to jointly develop a satellite servicing vehicle has ceased to be in effect.
The Space Infrastructure Servicing (SIS) vehicle was to be an on-orbit servicing spacecraft that would initially carry up to 2,000 kilograms of fuel and a suite of robotic tools to service satellites of which Intelsat would be the first customer. The servicing of these satellites would extend the life of each satellite from one to five years depending on the customers needs.
MDA had announced in June that it was extending its the requirements definition phase of its SIS initiative by three months.
MDA CEO Daniel Friedmann had announced last November when reporting the company’s third quarter results that the $280 million SIS initiative was in jeopardy. There was ongoing uncertainty on whether MDA through its U.S. subsidiary company would be allowed to be bid on potential contracts which are expected next month.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) had awarded MDA a $250,000 contract for a concept study to perform its own satellite serving experiment on the International Space Station.
MDA has not yet made a decision to proceed with its commercial Space Infrastructure Servicing Initiative.
MDA is continuing to pursue opportunities in this area and is currently focused on bidding a space servicing Broad Agency Announcement from a U.S. Government agency, which is due in February.