EchoStar’s Jupiter 3 being tested
November 17, 2023
Maxar Space Systems says it has successfully handed over operations of the largest commercial communications satellite ever manufactured in their Palo Alto, California facility, the Jupiter 3 broadband satellite, for EchoStar’s HughesConnects subsidiary.
The satellite, already in orbit, includes 14 solar panels on board that when fully deployed could span a 10-storey building. Maxar Space Systems manufactured the spacecraft, which is also called EchoStar XXIV, in their Northern California facility. It was launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida in July..
The giant satellite, now with fully deployed solar arrays, is undergoing further in-orbit tests and in particular its satellite communications with ground equipment, which is the final step before initiating broadband services for customers such as airlines, corporations, governments, and consumers of its popular HughesNet service. The Jupiter 3 satellite will bring over 500 Gbps of additional broadband capacity across North and South America.
“Reaching this milestone demonstrates the engineering excellence and innovation our team infused into this satellite,” said Hamid Akhavan, CEO, EchoStar. “As the largest commercial satellite ever built, Jupiter 3 will double the capacity of our fleet serving more customers who live beyond the reach of cable and fiber internet by providing ubiquitous connectivity throughout the Americas. This achievement is a testament to the strength of our Jupiter System technology, the de facto standard for satellite connectivity.”
Jupiter 3 will support the efforts by Hughes to bridge the digital divide and provide internet access to rural customers across the Americas, as well as applications such as in-flight Wi-Fi for airline passengers, enterprise networking, and cellular backhaul for mobile network operators (MNOs).
The Jupiter 3 orbital position is 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) above the equator at 95 degrees west.