[Satellite TODAY 07-20-11] ViaSat will delay the launch of its ViaSat-1 satellite by a few weeks after the spacecraft’s manufacturer Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) discovered and reviewed a malfunction in a previous satellite, CEO Mark Dankberg confirmed in a July 19 statement.
SS/L discovered a solar panel problem on the Telstar 14R satellite launched in May. The discovery had prompted SS/L to conduct a failure review analysis of ViaSat-1 as it uses similar components. The Ka-band satellite was expected to launch this month, but will now have to wait until August or September, according to Dankberg. The satellite is scheduled to enter service approximately two months after launch.
When launched, ViaSat-1 will be the highest capacity Ka-band satellite in the world, with a mission to help ViaSat break free of its supply constraints. ViaSat-1 also is crucial to developing its valuable in-flight connectivity partnership with JetBlue Airways.
“We are aiming to be in service probably in the last quarter of 2012. If it gets the level of traction as in-flight videos, then its a billion-dollar market in five to seven years,” Dankberg said.
ViaSat plans to begin work on its ViaSat-2 satellite by the end of this year. ViaSat-2 is expected to launch in early 2015.