When I joined Maxar last year, our space business was going through a transformation. After decades leading the commercial communications satellite industry, it was time to diversify.

Maxar had been a manufacturing powerhouse for GEO satellites well into the mid-2010s. But after a declining trend in order numbers, many companies—including Maxar—considered exiting the market. In the meantime, our partnership with the U.S. government on civil and national security missions grew. Several NASA programs, including the upcoming Psyche mission and the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) for the lunar Gateway, are built on our traditionally commercial satellite bus.

Despite some predictions of a continued downturn, the GEO market is stable today and Maxar is proud to serve our longstanding customers. A diversified customer base, evolving product suite and strong order backlog will ensure we can continue to do so for decades to come.

Rendering of Galaxy-37

Our facilities in California are buzzing with activity on programs for GEO and more. Here’s some of what we’re building:

  • Built on our proven 1300-class platform, Galaxy 31, Galaxy 32, Galaxy 35, Galaxy 36 and Galaxy 37 will help Intelsat transition its existing media distribution and contribution services to a new C-band spectrum, freeing up spectrum for 5G terrestrial wireless services. Intelsat 40e will cover North and Central America with flexible, high-throughput, “coast-to-coast" coverage. This satellite will also carry NASA’s TEMPO payload.
  • SiriusXM has worked closely with Maxar since the mid-1990s when we helped Sirius Satellite Radio establish the satellite radio industry. We’ve built nine satellites for the Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) provider; most recently, SXM-8 launched in 2021. Today, we’re designing SXM-9 and SXM-10, which are expected to provide service well into the 2040s.
  • Maxar is building JUPITER 3, a transformational Ultra High-Density Satellite, for Hughes Network Systems. This satellite, to be designated EchoStar XXIV, will provide more concentrated capacity over high-use areas than any other satellite.

Will the GEO industry continue to evolve? Sure. But we’re here for it. As markets change, Maxar’s proven heritage and close customer relationships make us confident for the future. Serving our commercial satellite customers remains a key strategic imperative. In an increasingly virtual world, the reliable connectivity our customers provide is more important than ever.

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