Jupiter 3 preps for launch
July 3, 2023
By Chris Forrester
The massive Jupiter 3 satellite (also known as EchoStar XXIV) has arrived at Cape Canaveral in readiness for launch. The craft is the largest commercial communications satellite ever built.
Built by Maxar Technologies of Palo Alto, California, it was flown in a giant Antonov aircraft to the space coast where it will undergo pre-launch testing prior to being integrated into a SpaceX ‘Falcon Heavy’ rocket for launch. SpaceX is currently scheduling July 31st for launch, subject to the usual weather considerations.
The craft has been under construction for some years and was originally expected to launch in 2021. Maxar has paid compensation to EchoStar for the delays, caused by a combination of factors around the Covid problems with component supply issues.
“As the leading provider of satellite internet to rural customers across the Americas, we are proud to begin a new era of connectivity with the launch of Jupiter 3,” said Hamid Akhavan, CEO, EchoStar. “Doubling the capacity of our satellite fleet with an additional 500 Gbps, Jupiter 3 will enable us to serve more customers, especially where cable and fiber can’t, so they can do everything they want—including work at home, study online, play games, engage in their communities, and stay in touch with family and friends.”
When fully deployed, Hughes says Jupiter 3 approaches the wingspan of a commercial airliner. With Jupiter 3, Hughes will enhance its HughesNet offerings for customers in the US and Latin America with more broadband capacity and higher speed plans—some with speeds up to 100 Mbps. The company will also offer higher speed HughesNet Fusion plans, the low-latency home internet that leverages multipath technology to blend satellite and wireless technologies for a faster service than traditional satellite internet.
“Since inventing satellite internet and bringing broadband connectivity to remote and rural customers, Hughes has continued to advance our service offerings with more capacity, higher speeds and a better online experience,” added Akhavan. “Jupiter 3 represents the next leap in our offerings, bringing HughesNet customers what they have been asking for: more data and higher speeds.”
With dense, high-throughput capacity across the Americas, Jupiter 3 will also support applications such as in-flight Wi-Fi, enterprise networking and cellular backhaul for mobile network operators (MNOs).