SES-15, a new satellite for Luxembourg-based operator SES, has arrived in Kourou, French Guiana, in readiness for its launch by Arianespace next month. SES-15 will launch to 129 degrees West.
Meanwhile, another satellite, SES-10 is standing by at SpaceX’s facility in preparation for an impending launch on a pre-flown rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. SES-10 is waiting in line in order that SpaceX can launch the much-delayed EchoStar-23 probably in the early hours of March 16th.
Once EchoStar-23 is safely away then SpaceX can prepare SES-10 for its flight on a ‘pre-flown’ recovered rocket. This will be the first time that an expensive communications satellite has made use of a second-hand Falcon 9 rocket. Most observers expect SES-10 to launch in late March/early April. SES-10 will replace AMC-3 and AMC-4 and provide enhanced coverage over Latin America from 67 degrees West.
These two satellites are just the first pair of what is a jam-packed manifest of new satellites planned for this year. Later this summer SES-11 will launch to 105 degrees West and serve North America as well as the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, and replace AMC-18’s C-band capacity.
SES-14 is being built by Airbus for launch later this year to 47.5 degrees West, and replacing NSS-806 and serving North America as well as capacity over the North Atlantic.
Also coming from Airbus is SES-12 which is planned for launch later this year. SES-12 will serve the Asia-Pacific region, including rapidly growing markets such as India and Indonesia. The satellite will replace NSS-6 positioned at 95 degrees East, and will be co-located with SES-8.
SES is also involved in GovSat-1, a joint-venture with the Luxembourg government to provide secure, reliable and accessible satellite communication services for governments, defence and institutional security applications. GovSat-1 will be a multi-mission satellite that will use X-band and military Ka-band frequencies on high-power and fully steerable mission beams to support multiple operations.