Advent congratulates Maxar on launch of two satellites

Advent Insights

With Advent’s support, Maxar blasts off to a successful launch

May 03, 2024

Advent is proud to support portfolio company Maxar Intelligence as it launches the first two WorldView Legion spacecraft. The satellites were successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on May 2nd, 2024. As the satellites enter their commissioning phase, we await the first images captured by these extraordinary spacecraft later this spring.

These are the first two of six planned WorldView Legion satellites. They are a part of the next generation of electro-optical satellites that will greatly enhance Maxar’s mission to promote national security and serve enterprise customers. With a total of six electro-optical satellites in its constellation, Maxar will be able to capture imagery of rapidly changing areas on Earth as frequently as every 20 to 30 minutes throughout the day.

Transformational moment

“The successful launch of the first two WorldView Legion satellites represents a transformational moment for our business,” said Maxar Intelligence CEO Dan Smoot. “These first-of-a-kind satellites will extend the quality and capability of our industry-leading constellation, tripling our ability to collect 30 cm-class imagery with high revisit rates and at more varied times throughout the day – meaning faster, more actionable insights for our customers. Thank you to all team members across Maxar who have worked tirelessly on this program to get us to this moment.”

Maxar’s experience in space technology has guided the creation of its next-generation satellites. WorldView Legion satellite imagery offers speed, quality, and scale to support a wide range of missions, from defense and intelligence to providing living maps for navigation.

Empowering Maxar to evolve

Maxar became a part of the Advent portfolio in May 2023 in a take-private deal. This move aimed to fuel innovation, enhance competitiveness, and foster sustainable long-term growth. Provided with an investment of $6.4 billion, Maxar was empowered to evolve into a leading provider of actionable intelligence. This involved constructing its revolutionary satellites and cultivating next-generation engineering talent. The partnership also provided Maxar with strategic expertise and access to Advent’s invaluable experience in transforming companies.

Prior to the Maxar investment, Advent invested in UK-based Cobham in a take-private deal in 2020, demonstrating Advent’s commitment to the space sector. Cobham provides a range of technologies and services to the defense, commercial aerospace, and space markets.

As the importance of space continues to grow in global economic and critical operations, Advent is committed to bolstering Maxar’s growth strategy. Shonnel Malani, Managing Partner at Advent, says the risk-return profile of the industry has evolved significantly.

“Once considered a high-risk sector reliant on government subsidies, space now presents growth prospects for private equity investment that is both credible and responsible,” he said.

Secure, precise geospatial intelligence

The Maxar Space Systems division developed the satellites, which are equipped with an optical instrument from Raytheon to capture imagery. These satellites take advantage of the exceptional stability and accuracy in pointing offered by Maxar’s technology.

Maxar Space Systems CEO Chris Johnson said: “We are proud to partner with Maxar Intelligence on the WorldView Legion program.” He added that the two satellites were performing nominally – a term used in space technology – and that the team remained focused on preparing to launch the additional four satellites later this year.

Maxar Intelligence provides secure, precise, geospatial intelligence, delivering disruptive value to government and commercial customers in monitoring, understanding, and navigating our changing planet. This is achieved through a unique approach that encompasses decades of deep mission understanding and a proven foundation in commercial and defense operations. Maxar Intelligence is able to deploy solutions and deliver insights with speed, scale, and cost effectiveness.

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