SXM-7 confirmed as a total loss
March 1, 2021
By Chris Forrester
The technicians at Maxar Technologies might never know precisely what happened to SXM-7; the pay-radio operator’s satellite that was launched on December 13th and was working perfectly, yet failed a few weeks later on January 16th.
Maxar, in releasing its Q4 and full year numbers, admitted that it would be absorbing some direct costs associated with the craft’s build and despite the lost satellite now being the subject of a $225 million insurance claim.
“We’re continuing to work on this one and we’re going to do our best to get it to be as performance or back to specifications as we can,” stated Dan Jablonsky, Maxar’s CEO.
Maxar is also working on the next-in-line satellite for SiriusXM (SXM-8) and on February 24th Jablonsky told analysts that SXM-8 would also be later to launch than originally planned.
Meanwhile, Maxar’s engineers are continuing the process of troubleshooting and diagnosing the problems on SXM-7.
Maxar’s portfolio of geostationary orders include the already delayed Jupiter-3 craft (aka EchoStar-24) which is also subject to Covid-related workflow delays. Jablonsky told analysts that a series of five satellites under construction for Intelsat’s C-band replacement activity were progressing well.
During the results announcement, Jablonsky reported consolidated revenues of $1.7 billion ($1.6 billion in previous year) and a net income of $303 million. During the year Maxar repurchased $511 million of Term Loans. It reported a rise in backlog of 17 per cent to $1.9 billion ($1.6 billion in 2019).