Arabsat’s BADR-8 readies launch
May 23, 2023
By Chris Forrester
SpaceX has scheduled the launch of Arabsat’s latest satellite for May 23rd.
Launch is scheduled for 11.25 pm Florida-time, but the mission launch is very much subject to local weather considerations. A back-up launch could happen exactly 24-hours later if weather halts the mission.
BADR-8 is a latest next-generation geostationary Eurostar Neo satellite from Airbus. The satellite will provide connectivity over Europe, Middle East, Africa, and central Asia and also features a world-first Airbus’s innovative space demonstrator TELEO to provide space to ground optical communications at gigabit speeds.
Airbus’s relationship with Arabsat stretches back 20 years, and BADR-8 is the eighth satellite built for the Saudi Arabia-based operator.
BADR-8 is electrically powered and will take around four months to reach orbit.
Arabsat’s BADR-8 satellite features increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems and will replace and increase Arabsat’s capacity and augment its core business at the BADR hotspot 26°E in geostationary orbit.
The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, Nilesat 301, OneWeb Launch 17, and seven Starlink missions. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.