SSL Selected to Provide Spacecraft for NASA Servicing Mission, Demonstrates Progress in Implementation of Plan to Grow U.S. Government Business

Press Release From: MDA
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that its U.S. division, SSL, was selected to provide a spacecraft bus to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for its Restore-L servicing mission. The Restore-L mission will demonstrate the ability to extend the life of a satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and is scheduled to launch in 2020. The contract includes a three-year core period and a two-year indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity portion. The total maximum contract value of the contract is US$127 million (approximately CA$170 million).

“This award from NASA is a key milestone and evidence of our growth potential in providing space solutions to the U.S. government,” said Howard L. Lance, president and chief executive officer of MDA. It clearly validates the MDA U.S. access strategy and demonstrates meaningful progress in building business relationships with key U.S. government agencies. As a leader in the commercial satellite market, SSL is well positioned to deliver innovative solutions to U.S. civilian, defense and intelligence agencies going forward.”

“The facility security clearance process with the U.S. Department of Defense is very near completion,” Lance added. “MDA has executed all the documents required to enter into the Security Control Agreement with the U.S. government and we expect to complete the process in the first quarter of 2017.”

The Restore-L spacecraft will use robotics to grasp, refuel and relocate an existing U.S. government satellite already in LEO orbit with the goal of demonstrating tools, technologies and techniques that can be implemented on future government and commercial missions.  The SSL spacecraft bus will provide the structure and power to support the mission.  

“We are very pleased to work with NASA to provide a high-performance spacecraft platform that will help make next generation satellite servicing a reality,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “This mission will be a breakthrough in the way we think about satellites on orbit, which previously could not be touched after launch.” 

The SSL 1300 is a large, powerful and reliable platform that has the flexibility to serve a broad range of missions ranging from space exploration to commercial communications.  With more than 80 SSL 1300s on orbit today, it is the world’s most popular spacecraft platform and it comes with a very predictable schedule and fixed price driven by the demands of the highly competitive spacecraft market.

Restore-L is being conducted under the Technology Demonstration Mission for the Space Technology Mission Directorate and NASA Headquarters.  SSL is contributing to a variety of other next generation U.S. government missions, including the Dragonfly mission for NASA and DARPA, which will demonstrate on orbit satellite assembly.

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations 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.

The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “MDA.”

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