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Echostar XIX was launched atop a 194 feet tall Atlas 5 rocket on December 18th.
The giant rocket was needed because the Echostar satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral, is extremely large. The craft weighs 14,914 lbs (6764.8 kgs) making it one of the very heaviest satellites ever launched. Its important solar panels spread 85 feet and help gather enough solar power to supply its 138 user spot beams plus another 22 ‘gateway’ beams.
The satellite will go into HughesNet, an Echostar subsidiary, and generate about 220 Gigabits per second of data, and serving broadband customers at home, rural businesses and airlines over North America and their passengers’ internet and video demand.
Echostar 19 will be placed at 97.1 degrees West, and joining Echostar 17 at 101 degrees West and Spaceway 3 at 95 degrees West and expanding the number of users from the current 2 million. It will enter service in the Spring of 2017.
“It’ll provide capacity primarily for our consumer business in the US as well as additional capacity in Canada, Mexico and other countries in Central America, and help resume the growth rate of our subscriber base,” Pradman Kaul, the president of Hughes, told investors recently.