Maxar company SSL terminates participation in DARPA program

By Marjorie Censer / January 30, 2019 at 10:05 AM

Maxar Technologies said today its SSL business has opted to no longer participate in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program because of "a need to focus its resources on ensuring optimal returns when weighed against other capital priorities."

"SSL has notified DARPA that it has decided to discontinue its participation in RSGS, an option available at this time under the terms of the Other Transaction Agreement between SSL and DARPA," the company said. "This decision is consistent with Maxar's commitment to disciplined prioritization of capital. Maxar remains confident in the potential of the on-orbit servicing market and the value of public[-]private partnerships."

Under the OTA signed in 2017, Maxar said, DARPA was developing the dexterous robotic payload and providing a government-funded launch, while SSL was tasked with funding the development of the spacecraft bus and integrating the robotic servicing spacecraft with the launch vehicle. In addition, SSL was responsible for providing operations staff.

One of Maxar's higher priorities is WorldView, a program focused on providing a next-generation satellite constellation for high-resolution earth imaging.