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SpaceX Launches Arabsat Badr-8 in Weekend Mission 

By Rachel Jewett | May 30, 2023

Deployment of the Arabsat Badr-8 satellite. Screenshot via SpaceX

SpaceX launched Arabsat’s Badr-8 telecommunications satellite in a Falcon 9 mission over the weekend from Cape Canaveral. Manufacturer Airbus confirmed the satellite is now on its way to its final position at 26 degrees East in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). 

Badr-8 will join the satellite operator’s Badr-network at the 26 degrees East hotspot, expanding service over the Middle East and Africa and central Asia. Arabsat ordered the satellite in 2020. It is a C-band and Ku-band satellite, based on Airbus’ Eurostar Neo platform. 

The spacecraft also includes TELEO, an optical communications hosted payload. It is the first of its kind for Airbus to demonstrate space to ground optical communications at gigabit speeds. Airbus said this payload is part of developing a new generation of optical communications technology in space.

The Falcon 9 launch took place early Saturday morning, launching at 12:30 a.m. on May 27. The satellite was deployed 37 minutes into the mission. This was SpaceX’s 35th launch of 2023. 

“Marking our third successful launch of the Eurostar Neo series and our eighth spacecraft built for Arabsat, Badr-8, equipped with the very innovative TELEO payload, is the latest major milestone for our telecoms business,” commented Jean Marc Nasr, head of Airbus Space Systems.