PALO ALTO, Calif. – February 10, 2014 — Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced it was awarded a contract by Skybox Imaging to build an advanced constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites for Earth imaging. The contract award helps SSL, which is best known for its high-power geostationary communications satellites, to further expand its capabilities building LEO imaging satellites and solutions.
SSL will build 13 small LEO satellites, each about 60 x 60 x 95 centimeters and weighing roughly 120 kilograms, to be launched in 2015 and 2016. These satellites, based on a Skybox design, will capture sub-meter color imagery and up to 90-second clips of HD video with 30 frames per second. Once the 13 satellites are launched, Skybox will be able to revisit any point on Earth three times per day.
“With the successful launch of SkySat-1 in November 2013, we validated our high-performance imaging satellite design and economics,” said Michael Trela, vice president of satellite systems, Skybox Imaging. “By partnering with SSL, we can leverage their unique production capabilities to scale with greater cost-efficiency and speed while allowing us to focus on prototyping next generation systems to better serve our customers.”
“The contract award from Skybox is tangible evidence of our success in working with MDA to expand into new markets,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “Based on SSL’s unique strengths as a satellite manufacturer and MDA’s heritage, we are developing new capabilities that will enable us to pursue other Earth observation and LEO satellite opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.”
As part of the agreement, Skybox granted SSL an exclusive license to the satellite design. This provides SSL with a unique platform to address the growing demand for small satellites and related services.
About Skybox Imaging
Skybox Imaging (Skybox) empowers global businesses to make better decisions with timely, high fidelity imagery and infinite analytics. By combining the power of web technologies and a constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites, Skybox is generating a unique data source describing daily global activity with timely, accessible, sub-meter color imagery and high definition video of Earth. Founded in 2009, Skybox Imaging is backed by leading venture firms and comprised of internet and aerospace professionals. For more information, visit www.skybox.com.
SSL has a long history of delivering reliable satellites and spacecraft systems for commercial and government customers around the world. As the world’s leading provider of commercial satellites, the company works closely with satellite operators to provide spacecraft for a broad range of services including television and radio distribution, digital audio radio, broadband Internet, and mobile communications. Billions of people around the world depend on SSL satellites every day. For more information, visit www.sslmda.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of Space Systems/Loral (SSL) with respect to future events and financial performance. When used in this news release, the words “believes”, “expects”, “plans”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “project”, “intend” or “outlook” or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of SSL’s end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers, performance of suppliers and management of SSL’s factory and personnel; risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital, and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation, including export controls and economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects SSL’s beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, SSL disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.