Telesat orders 14 launches from SpaceX
September 12, 2023
By Chris Forrester
SpaceX has won a 14-launch order from Telesat to place its Lightspeed constellation into low Earth orbit (LEO). Terms were not disclosed, but the multi-launch contract could easily be worth more than $800 million (€746.6m).
Each SpaceX rocket will carry up to 18 Telesat Lightspeed satellites to LEO per launch. The launch campaign is scheduled to commence in 2026 and will take advantage of SpaceX’s high launch cadence to rapidly deploy the satellites and enable Telesat to begin providing global service in 2027.
Launches for the campaign will lift off from both SpaceX’s launch facilities in California and Florida.
Designed from inception to serve the demanding, mission-critical connectivity requirements of enterprise and government users, the optically-linked Telesat Lightspeed network will provide multi-Gb/s data links and highly secure, resilient, low-latency broadband connectivity anywhere in the world. With the August signing of MDA as the prime satellite manufacturer and all necessary launch contracts in place for global constellation deployment, Telesat says it is well-positioned to begin delivering enterprise-class connectivity in late 2027.
“SpaceX has been a trusted and effective launch provider to Telesat on our geostationary satellite programs and I am delighted that they will be supporting us with their highly reliable Falcon 9 rocket to deploy the Telesat Lightspeed constellation, the most ambitious program in Telesat’s 54-year history,” stated Dan Goldberg, Telesat’s President and CEO. “Given the dedication and professionalism of the SpaceX team, and their outstanding track record of reliability and demonstrated high launch cadence, I have the utmost confidence that they will be an outstanding partner in helping us bring Telesat Lightspeed into service in a timely and low risk manner.”
“With growing demand for high-speed internet around the world, SpaceX is proud to launch and deploy Telesat’s Lightspeed constellation” said SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell. “Building upon our successful launch partnership to-date, we look forward to flying Telesat once again as they expand connectivity capabilities for their customers across the globe.”