12.05.2018

11 Highlights from Maxar’s First Year of Accelerating Innovation for the New Space Economy

By: Stephanie Georges, Maxar Technologies Chief Marketing Officer

Every day at Maxar, working together to build a better world, we look skyward. As our first year comes to a close, let’s instead look backward at what we’ve accomplished together and take a moment to celebrate our successes.

These highlights inspired us most in Maxar’s first year.

Standing with NASA on the Brink of The New Space Age
At POLITICO’s “New Space Age” event, Maxar President and CEO Howard Lance shared the opening remarks before Jim Bridenstine’s first public speaking engagement as NASA Administrator. This event previewed Maxar’s partnership role in helping Administrator Bridenstine lead the charge to reignite the space program.


Launching Maxar at Warp Speed
We’d say we hit the ground running—except that we’re a space company. In April, we made our first introduction to the GEOINT community with a strong presence at the 2018 GEOINT Symposium. The very next month, Forbes named us one of America’s best workplaces.


Building a Better World
Few companies have the ability to affect positive change for our planet and its people the way Maxar can. Through our Open Data Program, we made accurate, high-resolution satellite imagery available to support disaster recovery for 17 major events in 2018, including last month’s California wildefires, the Indonesian earthquake and the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Separately, the Maxar News Bureau celebrated its first anniversary this year, providing many of the world’s most trusted media organizations with satellite imagery and analysis to supercharge their reporting.


Completing the RADARSAT Constellation Mission
In October, MDA shipped the third and final satellite for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), completing the multi-year project exactly on schedule and budget. Set to launch early 2019, RCM will see through clouds and darkness to provide maritime surveillance, disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring for Canada and beyond. In August, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited to extol MDA’s Montréal workforce. 


Developing Space Robotics with the United Kingdom
The European Space Agency is designing Space Servicing Vehicles—robots to repair, refuel, and move satellites on orbit. After acquiring Neptec Design Group in July, along with its space-qualified camera and LIDAR expertise, MDA was positioned perfectly to win a commitment from the UK Space Agency that same month to bring our world-leading space robotics and sensor capabilities to the UK effort.


Operating a New Robot Arm on Mars
In late November the InSight lander safely touched down on the red planet. Over its upcoming two-year mission, InSight will use SSL’s latest robotic arm to maneuver its scientific instruments directly onto the surface of Mars, the first space mission to ever do so. InSight’s mission is to study the “inner space” of Mars, to better understand how terrestrial planets—including our own—formed.


Pioneering On-Orbit Spacecraft Assembly
SSL leads Dragonfly, a NASA “tipping point” project to enable satellites to self-assemble on orbit. For this public-private partnership, SSL has recently completed a ground demonstration, proving the concept for semi-autonomous robotic assembly of geostationary communications satellites. With Dragonfly, more powerful satellites—otherwise too large to be launched practically—can fit within standard launch vehicles, thus keeping costs down.


Unlocking Maximum Intelligence from Our 100-PB Image Library
DigitalGlobe launched EarthWatch, GBDX Notebooks and Ecopia U.S. Building Footprints powered by DigitalGlobe and added numerous features and datasets to SecureWatch, allowing our customers to maximize insights from our 19-year, 100-petabyte image library. With new tools and unprecedented data access, customers can extract more location intelligence, more easily, than ever before. 


Deepening Partnerships with our Most Vital Customers
DigitalGlobe signed landmark agreements with customers spanning the breadth of its business in 2018. It extended its EnhancedView contract through August 2023 and renewed its Global-EGD contract for a seventh year with the U.S. Government. It signed multi-year agreements with two major existing commercial technology customers, one of which is DigitalGlobe’s largest commercial contract ever, and grew the number of subscribers to its SecureWatch service to more than 30. 


Leading NGA’s GEOINT Modernization
Janus Geography is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) project to modernize its foundational GEOINT content, using community-sourced topographic and human geography data. In Radiant Solution's first prime contract of this type, it will lead a team of more than 25 partners, under a potential 10-year contract, to provide NGA with near real-time access to commercially created datasets to support critical defense and humanitarian assistance missions. 


Harnessing AI to Understand the World and Save Lives
Alongside Buzz Roberts of the NGA, Radiant Group President Tony Frazier keynoted NVIDIA's 2018 GPU Technology Conference in Washington D.C. He shared how Radiant is using AI and crowdsourcing to transform mapping and disaster response, putting lifesaving insights in the hands of decision makers—at global scale and faster than ever before.