SpaceX Selected to Launch ViaSat-3 Satellite Mission
Viasat selected SpaceX to launch one of its ViaSat-3 satellite missions. The Viasat mission is scheduled to launch in the 2020 – 2022 timeframe from the Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will launch aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.
According to the release, Viasat chose the SpaceX Falcon Heavy for its ability to fly a near direct-injection mission, inserting a ViaSat-3 satellite extremely close to Geostationary Orbit (GEO) — as a result, the spacecraft can begin In-Orbit Testing (IOT) quickly after launch, rather than spending weeks or months performing orbit raising maneuvers. This is expected to enable Viasat to turn on its broadband service much quicker after launch.
The first two ViaSat-3 class of Ka-band satellites will focus on the Americas and on Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), respectively, with the third satellite planned for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, completing Viasat’s global service coverage. Viasat will announce specific ViaSat-3 mission assignments for each of its contracted launch vehicles at a later date.