Advanced Television

SpaceX “wins” ViaSat launch contract

November 17, 2014

By Chris Forrester

Satellite broadband operator ViaSat of California has awarded the launch contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX and its Falcon-9 rocket. Our headline says “wins” because reportedly France’s Arianespace declined to bid for the contract, with sources suggesting that there’s no launch capacity available until 2017.  ViaSat wanted a mid-2016 launch.

ViaSat has a total of more than 630,000 subscribers using ether its ViaSat-1 craft or WildBlue satellite. The upcoming ViaSat-2 will create extra capacity for growth, especially in terms of services ‘direct-to-aircraft’ seats.  ViaSat has contracts in place with United Airlines and JetBlue.

ViaSat-2 is also a giant beast and will weigh in at some 6,740 kgs, making it one of the heaviest-ever satellites launched by commercial operators.

Categories: Articles, DTH/Satellite