David Thompson, president and CEO of Orbital ATK, has said he thinks the growth in government satellite work the company has seen since early 2016 could help make up for the weak demand for commercial communications satellites, Space News reported Friday.
“Continued strength in government satellite activity, particularly military or defense-related satellite activity, should offset or maybe go beyond offsetting any additional weakness on the commercial side,“ he told analysts in an earnings call.
Thompson, an inductee into Executive Mosaic“™s Wash100 for 2017, noted that the aerospace and defense contractor has started to consider entering into joint ventures or strategic partnerships with other companies to keep pace with competition amid the declining demand for geostationary orbit satellites in the commercial market.
“We are exploring some possibilities that may come to fruition over the next couple of quarters,“ he added.
Thompson said he thinks NASA is likely to push back to October the launch of Cygnus spacecraft aboard the Antares rocket due to scheduling requirements.
The company originally announced in June that it plans to launch Cygnus on Sept. 12 as part of the eighth cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
He also offered updates on Orbital ATK“™s two research and development efforts – Mission Extension Vehicle and Next Generation Launch vehicle.