Sky Muster II ready for launch
September 30, 2016
By Chris Forrester
Australia’s Sky Muster II satellite, built for the National Broadband Network, is ready for launch from the French Guiana spaceport by Arianespace. The launch is scheduled for October 4 between 20.30pm and 21.45 UTC (10.30pm-11.45pm Paris time).
Sky Muster II, built by Space Systems/Loral, reflects the country’s political commitment to bridging the digital divide, especially in the rural and isolated regions of Australia. This new satellite will help extend high-speed internet to the entire country, including the Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands, in conjunction with broadband services already delivered by Sky Muster I.
The satellite is intended to serve and improve connectivity for some 400,000 Australian homes, mostly in isolated regions of the country.
The Australian satellite will have a co-passenger on the launch in the shape of India’s GSAT-18, for India’s Space Research Organisation. Weighing 3404 kg at lift-off, GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide Services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. GSAT-18 carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite. GSAT-18 will be positioned at 74 deg East longitude.