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Maxar-Thales Alenia Space team breaks up, now competing separately for Telesat LEO

23 Oct 2019, 14:01 UTC
Maxar-Thales Alenia Space team breaks up, now competing separately for Telesat LEO
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WASHINGTON — Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space abandoned plans to jointly compete to build Telesat’s low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation, setting up a now three-way race for a multibillion-dollar contract expected to be awarded soon.
Paul Estey, Maxar’s executive vice president of customer relations for space infrastructure, confirmed the split up Oct. 23.
“We believe bidding separately from Thales Alenia Space (TAS) on work related to this LEO constellation is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders at this time given the size, scope and financial metrics of the proposed relationship with TAS,” he said in an emailed statement.
Maxar and Thales Alenia Space were competing together against Airbus Defence and Space for the Telesat LEO contract, estimated to be worth $3 billion. Telesat was expected to decide by the end of this year on who would build some or all of its 300-satellite constellation.
Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s CEO, declined to comment on the breakup of the Maxar-Thales Alenia Space team when asked about it by SpaceNews Oct. 22 at the 70th International Astronautical Congress here, citing nondisclosure agreements.
Thales Alenia Space confirmed its separation from Maxar, but declined to explain the decision.
“We confirm that we are ...

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