Press releases

Filter by year

SSL Small Satellite for Telesat Delivered to Launch Base in Eastern Russia


Will be one of Telesat’s two satellites launching into Low Earth Orbit this year as part of company’s planned global constellation


Palo Alto, CA – November 7, 2017 – SSL, a business unit of Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), announced today that the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) communications satellite it recently provided to Telesat has arrived at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Eastern Russia where it will launch aboard a Soyuz-2 vehicle provided by Glavkosmos. This will be one of two Telesat Phase 1 satellites planned for launch this year that will allow Telesat to start testing key performance parameters of its next generation global LEO constellation.

“Developing this innovative LEO spacecraft for Telesat demonstrates our strength in collaborating with partners to meet new space goals,” said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. “With this satellite for Telesat, we have taken an entirely fresh approach to designing a high performing smallsat that will advance Telesat’s plans to launch an important next-generation business.” 

The launch of this Phase 1 LEO will be a key step in Telesat’s goal to accelerate the world’s digital transformation by providing, through its LEO constellation, high performing, cost effective, fiber-like connectivity anywhere on the planet for business, government and individual users.

“Telesat’s LEO constellation will deliver fiber-like broadband on a global basis to commercial and government markets, and the launch of our Phase 1 LEO satellites is the starting point in making this next generation system a reality,” said Dave Wendling, Chief Technical Officer of Telesat. “Telesat is grateful to SSL for their many contributions during the design and construction of this innovative spacecraft. We look forward to a successful launch and beginning testing on our Phase 1 LEO satellites shortly after.”  

SSL has worked with Telesat for nearly 20 years to expand its satellite fleet and there are currently two Telesat geostationary satellites in production at SSL’s Palo Alto facility, where the company integrates space proven building blocks with technology advances that enable better performance and more power and capacity for broadcast and broadband applications.  

Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO smallsat is expected to launch in late November from Eastern Russia’s newest launch base, together with a Russian weather observation satellite and several other co-passengers. SSL partnered with the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of Toronto, Canada to build the spacecraft and SFL is managing launch base mission operations.

SSL’s growing LEO business includes satellites for Earth Observation, Communications and Satellite Servicing, and demonstrates the company’s agility in implementing new technologies and processes to drive innovation.


About Telesat (
Telesat is a leading global satellite operator, providing reliable and secure satellite-delivered communications solutions worldwide to broadcast, telecom, corporate and government customers. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with offices and facilities around the world, the company’s state-of-the-art fleet consists of 15 satellites, the Canadian payload on ViaSat-1, and two new satellites under construction. An additional two satellites are now being readied  for launch into low earth orbit (LEO) as part of Telesat’s plans to deploy an advanced, global LEO satellite constellation offering low latency, high throughput broadband services. Telesat also manages the operations of additional satellites for third parties. Privately held, Telesat’s principal shareholders are Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LORL).

About SSL
SSL, based in Palo Alto, California, is a leading provider of advanced spacecraft systems, with broad expertise to support commercial and government satellite operators and innovative space missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, in-orbit servicing, space exploration, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for 60 years, SSL’s advanced product line includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and autonomous solutions for remote operations. SSL is a business unit of Maxar Technologies, a U.S. operating company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR). For more information, visit

About Maxar Technologies
Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) is a leading global provider of advanced space technology solutions for commercial and government markets including satellites, Earth imagery, geospatial data and analytics. As a trusted partner, Maxar Technologies provides unmatched end-to-end advanced systems capabilities and integrated solutions expertise to help our customers anticipate and address their most complex mission critical challenges with confidence. With more than 6,500 employees in 21 locations, the Maxar Technologies portfolio of commercial space brands includes: SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe, and Radiant Solutions. Every day millions of people rely on Maxar Technologies to communicate, share information and data, and deliver insights that empower a better world. Maxar trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information visit

SSL smallsat for Telesat is now at launch base.
SSL smallsat for Telesat is now at launch base.