Maxar Plans for January 2023 WorldView Legion Launch
Maxar Technologies expects for its first batch of WorldView Legion satellites to launch in January 2023, the company reported last week in its third quarter financial results. Maxar plans to ship the first two satellites to the launch facility in December.
The highly anticipated WorldView Legion constellation will provide a boost to Maxar’s Earth observations capacity, but the first launches for the program have had many delays due to issues with hardware, software validation, and work delays. A 2023 launch is another schedule slip. At the end of the second quarter of 2022, the satellites were expected to launch during the fourth quarter of this year.
“Flight software validation testing has taken us a bit longer than we expected in September and October. But teams are in the final stages there. We’re essentially hardware complete on the first two sets. The next two are heading into environmental testing, and we’re wrapping up manufacturing on the final two,” CEO Dan Jablonsky said on a Nov. 3 call with investors.
Revenue at Maxar was essentially flat in the third quarter compared to the same time last year. Q3 revenue was $436 million, compared to $437 million in the same time last year. Net loss was $4 million, compared to $14 million in net income in Q3 last year.
Revenue in both Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure was up slightly during the quarter, but there was an increase in intersegment eliminations, including the construction of the WorldView Legion satellites.
Earth Intelligence revenue was $275 million during the quarter, up $4 million from the same time last year. Maxar reported a $15 million increase in revenues from the U.S. government, including $11 million from crisis support services, and a $3 million increase in revenues from international defense and intelligence customers. These increases in revenues were partially offset by a $14 million decrease in revenues from commercial programs, because of a significant commercial contract in the third quarter of 2021.
Space Infrastructure revenue was $186 million during the quarter, up $6 million from the same time last year. Maxar reported a $4 million increase in revenues from U.S. government contracts and a $2 million increase in revenues from recurring commercial programs.
“With Legion nearing launch, our existing backlog and the growth we expect from our diverse and expanding product offerings, we remain committed to substantial growth in earnings and free cash flow next year and over the long term. We are maintaining our prior targets for 2023, having only adjusted them for our recent refinancing activity,” commented CFO Biggs Porter.