Lack of “Antonovs” forces Maxar to postpone the launch of new observation satellites

Maxar Technologies will be able to launch the new WorldView Legion Earth observation satellites no earlier than September. The reason for this is the lack of Antonov Company aircraft for their transportation.

The WorldView Legion satellite, the launch of which was delayed by the lack of “Antonovs”. Source: Maxar Technologies.

Maxar satellites are scheduled to launch in September

Daniel Jablonski, President of Maxar Technologies, announces that the launch of the new WorldView Legion satellites has been postponed to September. At first, the company booked places on the SpaceX rocket for July 15, but problems with transporting the spacecraft to the launch site forced them to postpone the launch once again. Earlier, the company introduced mobile terminals for working with its satellites.

According to Yablonsky, the reason for this was the shortage of Ukrainian Antonov aircraft, which arose as a result of the Ukrainian-Russian war. The world’s largest AN-225 Mriya aircraft was destroyed by Russian shelling, and the rest of the Ukrainian trucks had to be hastily evacuated. Now spacecraft weighing several tons will have to be transported by land or by sea.

Maxar Technologies is known for its satellite photos of the Earth’s surface. In particular, they helped to find out the truth about Russia’s crimes in Mariupol. However, now the company has only four spacecraft in orbit. The satellites of the new generation of WorldView Legion were supposed to significantly expand its capabilities. But it is not known when they will start working now.

Situation with “Antonovs”

Problems with the transportation of large spacecraft have been observed in the world since the very beginning of the Ukrainian-Russian war. The destruction of the “Mriya” spacecraft is a big, but far from the only problem in this area. In recent years, the AN-124 and AN-225 aircraft have practically monopolized this area. But today 30 Ruslan aircraft belong to Russia, and another 7 belong to Ukraine.

Ukrainian planes, according to sources, are quite possible to operate, and they are loaded with orders. But Russian planes are under sanctions, and this greatly reduces the fleet of possible air carriers. 

All this forces companies to transport satellites on the surface, which is associated with undesirable fluctuations. And if they can be transported within Europe not so critically by motor transport, then sea travel by waves of the Atlantic Ocean can negatively affect their performance.

According to

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