Falcon Heavy sends Jupiter-3 broadband giant toward geostationary orbit

TAMPA, Fla. — SpaceX launched EchoStar’s greater than 9 metric ton Jupiter-3 spacecraft July 28 and efficiently dropped off the world’s heaviest industrial communications satellite tv for pc in geosynchronous switch orbit.

The Maxar Applied sciences-built satellite tv for pc lifted off on a devoted Falcon Heavy at 11:04 p.m. Japanese from Kennedy Area Heart, Florida, separating from the rocket about three and a half hours later.

Each Falcon Heavy facet boosters landed at close by Cape Canaveral Area Pressure Station simply over seven minutes after launch for reuse. They’d supported two earlier Falcon Heavy missions, each for the U.S. Area Pressure: USSF-44 in November and USSF-67 early this yr. 

The mission was delayed from July 26 to permit extra time for automobile checkouts after an abort was referred to as with a few minute remaining within the countdown for causes SpaceX didn’t element.

EchoStar’s Hughes Networks Programs subsidiary, which is about to offer Jupiter-3’s broadband providers, confirmed the satellite tv for pc has began sending and receiving its first indicators post-launch, and that engineers had deployed its photo voltaic arrays.

Jupiter-3 is about to double the capability of the operator’s Jupiter fleet with a further 500 gigabits per second, after reaching its 95 levels west orbital slot and finishing well being checks the operator expects to wrap up within the fourth quarter.

The broadband providers would handle rising demand over the Americas, the place it has been dropping subscribers as capability constraints weigh on the enterprise.

EchoStar just lately mentioned Hughes broadband subscribers are utilizing about 15% extra bandwidth on common year-on-year amid intensifying competitors available in the market, together with from SpaceX’s Starlink broadband constellation. 

Jupiter-3 allows the corporate “to begin rising once more in our key markets the place we’ve been hesitant so as to add new prospects due to the capability limitations,” EchoStar chief working officer Paul Gaske mentioned, “and it additionally permits us the chance to enhance plans for our current prospects.”

He mentioned the corporate has quite a few “pinch factors” to handle however its constraints are highest in the US, the place it intends to place the biggest chunk of Jupiter-3’s capability to work.

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EchoStar ordered Jupiter-3 (additionally referred to as EchoStar-24) in 2017 from Area Programs Loral earlier than it rebranded as Maxar Applied sciences, and had initially deliberate to launch it in 2021 earlier than the pandemic led to manufacturing points at Maxar and different satellite tv for pc producers.

Maxar mentioned Jupiter-3, at in regards to the measurement of a typical faculty bus when antennas and photo voltaic panels stowed and with a wingspan of a Boeing 737 when absolutely deployed, is the biggest spacecraft it has ever made.

Jupiter-3 unseats Telesat’s Telstar-19 Vantage that launched in 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 as the biggest industrial communications satellite tv for pc ever deployed.

Maxar-built Telstar-19 Vantage had a launch mass of roughly seven metric tons.

Heaviest industrial communication satellites

Satellite tv for pc Producer Launch Mass (kg) Launch Automobile Launch Date
Jupiter-3 Maxar Applied sciences 9,200 SpaceX Falcon Heavy July 28, 2023
Telstar-19 Vantage Maxar Applied sciences 7,076 SpaceX Falcon 9 July 22, 2018
Telstar-18 Vantage Maxar Applied sciences 7,060 SpaceX Falcon 9 September 10, 2018
SXM-7 Maxar Applied sciences 7,000 SpaceX Falcon 9 December 13, 2020
SXM-8 Maxar Applied sciences 7,000 SpaceX Falcon 9 June 6, 2021
All knowledge is collected from publicly obtainable sources, no privately sourced firm data is included on this evaluation. Credit score: Radar-Area by McKinsey.

Jupiter-3 was deployed on the third Falcon Heavy of 2023, coming after its April 30 launch for major passenger ViaSat-3 Americas, a 5.6 metric ton satellite tv for pc operated by EchoStar broadband rival Viasat that later suffered an antenna anomaly.

Arcturus, the primary satellite tv for pc constructed by Astranis that was additionally on the flight with a mass of round 400 kilograms, suffered an unrelated post-launch challenge meaning it won’t present broadband over Alaska as deliberate.

The mission for Jupiter-3 was Falcon Heavy’s seventh flight since its debut in 2018. It was SpaceX’s 51st launch mission up to now this yr.


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