[Satellite TODAY 05-15-12] Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) shipped the EchoStar 17 satellite to its launch provider Arianespace and confirmed May 14 that the spacecraft arrived safely at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.
SS/L designed and built the all Ka-band EchoStar 17 based on its 1300 platform for EchoStar subsidiary Hughes Network Systems, which will use the satellite to provide HughesNet Gen4 high-speed Internet service in North America. The spacecraft’s multi-spot beam architecture aims to expand coverage and focus capacity on areas with the highest traffic demand for enhanced services by consumers and businesses in the region.
“EchoStar 17 will bring HughesNet Gen4 high-speed Internet access to over 1.5 million consumer and small business subscribers, further securing our position as the world’s leading provider of satellite broadband services,” Hughes President Pradman Kaul said in a statement. “Space Systems/Loral has been an excellent partner in building this complex spacecraft and we are very excited to see it launch next month.”
EchoStar 17 represents SS/L’s fourth dedicated broadband satellite.