Approximately 29 minutes after liftoff, the ViaSat-2 mission was underway with the satellite separating from the launch vehicle. First signals from the satellite were acquired shortly thereafter through a ground station at Hassan, India. In the coming days, ViaSat-2 will start orbit raising with its chemical propulsion system, followed by solar array deployments, and will then switch over to its electric propulsion system to complete orbit raising over the coming months. Viasat expects it will take several months for ViaSat-2 to reach its final orbital destination, located at 69.9° west longitude.
Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s chairman and CEO commented, “Today’s successful launch is a momentous event in Viasat’s history. It represents the culmination of hard work, dedication and commitment to technical excellence from across the Viasat team. We also want to recognize our launch team partners, Boeing and Arianespace, for their support and collaboration in helping us successfully launch ViaSat-2.”
ViaSat-2 is a geostationary satellite that operates in Ka-band frequencies. It was designed to offer high-capacity connectivity and wide coverage, with the flexibility to move capacity to where demand requires it. ViaSat-2 is expected to significantly improve speeds, reduce costs and expand the footprint of broadband services across North America, Central America, the Caribbean, a portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe.
Dankberg continued, “The innovations in our ViaSat-2 spacecraft and underlying network will enable us to be one step closer to connecting the world, and delivering new higher speed fixed and mobility services that will continue to compete with traditional broadband services.”
“Arianespace is excited to have delivered for Viasat! We are proud to have launched one of the world’s most advanced telecommunications satellites, ViaSat-2, safely to orbit. Great things are in store for our friends at Viasat,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.
“We are honored that Viasat has put their trust in Boeing to build and deliver their next-generation satellite, ViaSat-2, a high-power 702 satellite with advanced capabilities that will help Viasat connect millions around the world through high-speed broadband service,” said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International.