After 20 years service and having greatly improved and expanded it, Daniel Friedmann is stepping down as CEO of MDA Corp, Canada’s main space firm which also owns US satellite manufacturer, SSL (formally Space Systems/Loral). For strategic and diplomatic reasons, the Canadian firm needs a US citizen as head of its operation especially as the US-based SSL is the subsidiary of the firm promising the most growth.

SSL, which along with Airbus, is one of the two leading commercial satellite manufacturers, is now expected to bid for more military satellite contracts against aerospace industry giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin who have long dominated the military spacecraft sector.

DirecTV-7S is just one of the spacecraft in the DirecTV fleet. Courtesy: SpaceSystems/Loral - MDA

DirecTV-7S is just one of the spacecraft in the DirecTV fleet. Courtesy: SpaceSystems/Loral – MDA

MDA (MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates) will now be run from its SSL office in Palo Alto, California under the stewardship of new CEO, Howard Lance who was formerly CEO of the satellite antenna manufacturer Harris Corp.