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Space Systems/Loral's Viasat-1 Ka-Band Satellite Arrives at Kazakhstan's Launch Base

Satellite Technology

Satellite Technology Feature Article

September 16, 2011

Space Systems/Loral's Viasat-1 Ka-Band Satellite Arrives at Kazakhstan's Launch Base

By Madhubanti Rudra, TMCnet Contributor


Space Systems/Loral has recently announced that the next generation broadband satellite called ViaSat (News - Alert)-I, that it has been building for ViaSat, is ready for launch and has arrived at the launching station at the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.


Space Systems/Loral is a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications and a world leading provider of reliable satellites and spacecraft systems for commercial and government customers around the world. The new satellite is going to be launched aboard an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle provided by International Launch Services (News - Alert) (ILS), the company informed in the press release.

Since 1970’s Space System/Loral is has been building Ka-band satellites, all of which according to its maker, uses multiple spot beams and frequency reuse to maximize capacity for broadband service in North America.

In a press release, John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral, revealed that ViaSat-1 has been a complex and challenging project. ViaSat-1 is expected to dramatically increase the amount of capacity available to serve more customers with faster data rates and higher data volume for a better broadband experience, the sources at Space Systems/Loral claimed. It is expected to provide more than 100 gigabits per second throughput

ViaSat-1 will be positioned at 115.1 degrees West longitude. The customers in the West Coast of the U.S. and east of the Texas panhandle are to mostly benefit from the capabilities of this satellite.

Based on SS/L's highly reliable 1300 platform , the satellite has 72 spot beams, with 63 in the U.S. and nine over Canada. The Canadian beams are owned by satellite operator Telesat (News - Alert) and will be used for the Xplornet broadband service to consumers in rural Canada.

The satellite is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more.

“The ViaSat-1 system, which includes the gateways and user terminals in addition to the satellite, is going to change the way people think about satellite broadband. Now, with the satellite at launch base, we are very close to seeing our vision become a reality,”  Mark Dankberg (News - Alert), chief executive officer of ViaSat noted in a statement.

Last week, Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide two high-power satellites to Intelsat (News - Alert) for Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service in Latin America. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.



Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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