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On May 10th we reported about a French Guiana launch on May 18th of SES-15, when the spaceport uses a Soyuz rocket to place the satellite into its geostationary orbit.
News has now emerged that ViaSat of California’s giant ViaSat-2 craft will use an Arianespace rocket on June 1st – subject to weather – to orbit the satellite to 69.9 degrees West, and to provide capacity for North America’s broadband users.
ViaSat-2 will have a co-passenger on the launch, Eutelsat’s 172B craft.
The June 1st planned dual-launch means that Arianespace is now getting back to normal, following the 40-day strike in March and April which brought launch activity to a standstill.
ViaSat-2 should improve download speeds, reduce capacity costs and widen the satellite’s footprint to beyond the USA, as well as Central America, the Caribbean and the northern portion of South America.
In essence, ViaSat-2 doubles the operator’s bandwidth available, and 300 Gb/s of capacity.
ViaSat is involved with Paris-based Eutelsat in a joint-venture project which will initially utilise Eutelsat’s Ka-Sat craft, as well as provide a new satellite, similar in capacity to ViaSat-2, and operating over Europe.
The next scheduled launch after the ViaSat/Eutelsat pair will be another dual launch, HellasSat-3 (for its Arabsat owners) and G-Sat-17 (for India’s ISRO).