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DigitalGlobe Loses WorldView-4 Satellite in Orbit Due to Gyroscope Failure

Updated 10:46 a.m.

WASHINGTON — DigitalGlobe announced Monday that its WorldView-4 satellite has malfunctioned.

In a statement, DigitalGlobe, a division of Maxar Technologies, said the control moment gyros on WorldView-4, launched in November 2016, have failed, preventing the spacecraft from pointing accurately.

The company said that while efforts are continuing to restore the spacecraft, "Maxar believes that WorldView-4 will likely not be recoverable and will no longer produce usable imagery." [Video: Watch an Atlas V Rocket Launch WorldView-4]

Lockheed Martin built the satellite, which used gyros from Honeywell. Maxar said it "intends to seek full recovery for the loss of WorldView-4 under its insurance policies," with an insured value of $183 million.

Maxar said WorldView-4 generated approximately $85 million of the company’s 2018 revenue, which is expected to total roughly $2 billion when the company reports full-year earnings in coming weeks.

The satellite had a net book value of approximately $155 million, including related assets, that will be written off if the satellite is not recoverable, Maxar said.

Shares in Maxar Technologies were down more than 10 percent in early trading Monday following news of WorldView-4’s failure.

The satellite was ordered by GeoEye prior to its 2013 merger with DigitalGlobe.

WorldView-4 captured this image of Brasilia on Jan. 11, 2017.
(Image credit: DigitalGlobe)

WorldView-4's imaging capabilities with a picture of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Shibuya, Tokyo, site of the 1964 Summer Olympics and future home of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
(Image credit: DigitalGlobe)

This story was provided by SpaceNews, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.

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