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AST SpaceMobile to Launch Demo Satellite With SpaceX 

By Rachel Jewett | July 30, 2021

SpaceX Starlink launch on March 14, 2021. Photo: SpaceX

AST SpaceMobile will launch the prototype satellite BlueWalker 3 for its space-to-cell network on a SpaceX rocket in March 2022. The company announced the launch agreement on July 29. 

Describing its BlueWalker 3 test satellite, AST SpaceMobile said it has an aperture of 693 square feet and is designed to communicate directly with cell phones via 3GPP standard frequencies. AST SpaceMobile is working to launch satellites that can communicate directly with standard cell phones to create a broadband network to eliminate connectivity gaps. 

The company went public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger and has been trading as ASTS since April. The company will issue its first quarterly financial report on Aug. 16. 

“We’re pleased to launch with U.S.-based SpaceX, which allows us to deploy BlueWalker 3 from our own backyard,“ said Scott Wisniewski, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of AST SpaceMobile. “The spacecraft will be the second prototype to leverage our patented technology.”