Advanced Television

Delays hit launch of SES O3b satellites

September 19, 2023

By Chris Forrester

The new fleet of SES-owned O3b mPOWER satellites are suffering what CEO Ruy Pinto has described as occasional “hiccups” in their power modules. Corrective measures are being taken but it means a delay to the launch of mPOWER craft No 5 and 6.

The two satellites are already much delayed and were expected to be launched this month. The launch of the pair will now take place in October on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

“We are not happy with not being earlier with mPOWER. But we are making steady progress with our partner, Boeing,” Pinto told delegates at the Euroconsult World Satellite Business Week. “We have more than 160 mPower terminals with our customers, ready to use.

Pinto said that its first mPOWER satellite had been successfully tested and was already carrying traffic. “The performance of the payload and all those things customers have come to rely on are working well.”

The delays for remedial work on the remaining mPOWER satellites means that the fleets entry-level services would not begin before the end of this year, or early in 2024.

Four mPOWER satellites are already in orbit. mPOWER 5 and 6 are scheduled for launch in October. mPOWER 7 and 8 are scheduled to be launched in H2 2023, although no update as to availability or launch date has been given. mPOWER 9, 10 and 11 are still scheduled to be launched in 2024.

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