SES to be first customer for on-orbit satellite refuelling service

SES (Euronext Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) and MDA, a global communications and information company, have agreed on an initial satellite life extension mission using an on-orbit refuelling vehicle being built by SSL, a US based subsidiary of MDA and a provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, the companies said.

SES will be the first commercial customer to benefit from the satellite refuelling service, and will be able to activate the service whenever required with minimal disruption to spacecraft operation. The agreement also includes an option for further life extension missions.

SES will work with a new venture, Space Infrastructure Services (SIS), which will commercialise sophisticated satellite servicing capabilities. SIS has contracted SSL to design and build the highly-capable satellite servicing spacecraft vehicle to meet the needs of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)´s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) programme, which is designed to inspect, repair, relocate and augment geosynchronous satellites and plans to include a refuelling payload to extend the life of satellites that are low on propellant.

The satellite servicing spacecraft vehicle is planned for launch in 2021.

SES is the world-leading satellite operator and the first to deliver a differentiated and scalable GEO-MEO offering worldwide, with more than 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 12 in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). SES focuses on value-added, end-to-end solutions in four key market verticals (Video, Enterprise, Mobility and Government).

It provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions, and businesses worldwide. SES´s portfolio includes the ASTRA satellite system, which has the largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) television reach in Europe, and O3b Networks, a global managed data communications service provider.

SSL MDA Holdings Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) and serves as the operating company for all MDA businesses.

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organisations worldwide. MDA´s business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development. MDA´s established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 15 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

Space Systems Loral (SSL) is a provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation.