Satellite 2012: ArianeSpace, SpaceX Brag about Launch Wins
ArianeSpace and SpaceX (News - Alert) both announced customer wins this week. ArianeSpace will be lofting big satellites for a NewSat and joint Eutelsat/Es'halSat venture, while SpaceX, with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS (News - Alert)) and Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex), will put a total of two satellite on one Falcon 9 launch.
ArianeSpace will launch the Jabiru-1 satellite for NewSat on an Ariane 5 vehicle from the Guiana Space Center during the fourth quarter of 2014. Jabiru-1 is being built by Lockheed Martin (News - Alert) using an A2100 platform. It will weigh 5,900 kg at launch and have 50 Ka-band transponders to deliver service to enterprise and government customers across Asia, the Middle East and eastern Africa. This is the first satellite for NewSat.
Eutelsat (News - Alert) and Es'hailSat, the Qatar satellite company, have teamed up to build Eutelsat 25B /Es'hail 1. It will be launched on board an Ariane 5 in the second quarter of 2015. Eutelsat 25B /Es'hail 1 will be positioned at 25.5 degrees east to server markets in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. The new satellite will provide both Ku-band and Ka-band capabilities for both parties. It weighs over six metric tons and is being built by Space Systems/Loral.
SpaceX will launch Satmex 7 and ABS-3A on a single Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida expected to take place in late 2014 or early 2015. In addition, ABS is expected to launch two more satellites on a single Falcon 9 launch in the fourth quarter of 2015.
All of the satellites for ABS and Satmex will be built by Boeing (News - Alert) using its newly announced 702SP (Small Power) satellite line. The 702SP bus ditches liquid fuels and all of the associated plumbing and hardware, instead solely using ion electric propulsion for final orbital placement and station keeping to cut satellite weight to under two metric tons while providing a satellite bus capable of providing anywhere from 3 to 8 kilowatts of power. The smaller weight of the satellites will allow service providers to work together to launch a pair of satellites on one medium-sized vehicle, as well as providing a more affordable satellite bus.
Satmex 7 will provide C- and Ku-band service. It will expand Satmex's fleet to three satellites covering the Americas, providing both direct-to-home (DTH) and data services with increased power levels and improved elevation angles from any location within the coverage area.
ABS-3A will provide C- and Ku-band services into the Atlantic Ocean region. It and the company's two other satellites on order will enable ABS to become a global satellite operator with service available in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
Edited by Jennifer Russell