WildBlue’s ViaSat-1 suffers ground damage

ViaSat-1, the giant consumer broadband satellite being built for the WildBlue Ka-Band system over North America, has been damaged at the Space Systems/Loral facility. The damage occurred as the satellite was being moved within Loral’s Palo Alto facility. It had been due to be launched this spring on an ILS/Proton rocket from Kazakhstan, and this date will now slip a few months.

Details of the damage are sparse, but believed to have occurred when the craft was being moved between test rooms at the Loral facility. Loral will pay all costs of repairs, and the bills for re-testing.

California-based ViaSat will have to wait several months for repairs to be completed and further checks carried out on the satellite. Loral, as well as building the satellite, is also a key customer having booked capacity to resellers serving Canada.

In all ViaSat-1 will offer the highest-ever throughput of capacity, at 130 gigabites/second, and twice the capacity of Eutelsat’s Ka-Sat craft launched at the end of December.

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