On November 30, 2021, Maxar’s WorldView-4 satellite re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated after being decommissioned in September.

WorldView-4 was built by Lockheed Martin and launched in 2016 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The satellite collected 176 million sq km of high-resolution Earth imagery over two years of service. Maxar announced in January 2019 that the satellite suffered an on-orbit hardware failure and would no longer be able to collect usable imagery for customers. The satellite ended commercial operations, and Maxar maintained positive command and control until its planned deorbit was initiated.

Bringing WorldView-4 down from space ensures that the satellite will not pose a risk to other spacecraft or further contribute to space debris. Maxar encourages all satellite operators to help preserve the space environment by acting responsibly and following guidelines such as the Space Safety Coalition’s Best Practices for Sustainability of Space Operations and the World Economic Forum’s Space Debris Industry Statement.

WorldView-4 imagery remains available to customers as part of Maxar’s 20-year archive of high-resolution Earth imagery.

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