Eutelsat Konnect launch rescheduled
September 7, 2022
By Chris Forrester
The planned launch by Arianespace of the important Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite on September 6th was halted ahead of lift-off. High altitude winds were to blame.
The Very High Throughput Satellite is claimed to be the most powerful craft to be orbited. A new launch time is expected on September 7th at 09.45 UTC. It is the largest-ever craft built by Thales Alenia and weighs some 6.4 tonnes.
With an instantaneous rate of 500 Gbps, the Konnect VHTS craft will provide high-speed Ka-band internet access throughout Europe, in particular for isolated regions with low coverage, offering a service comparable to fibre optic networks in terms of performance and cost, thus making a significant contribution to bridging the digital divide. It will serve mobile telecoms networks on land, sea or in the air.
The satellite was built in France by Thales Alenia Space around the Spacebus NEO all-electric propulsion platform. It carries a cutting-edge payload using disruptive technologies developed with the support of the French Government, via the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the ‘Investing in the Future’ programme (PIA), together with the European Space Agency (ESA). The payload notably comprises the most powerful digital processor in the world that combines agile capacity allocation, optimised spectrum use and support, and gradual deployment of network coverage on the ground.