A Proton M rocket roared of the pad last night at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It carried an amazing commercial satellite. The ViaSat-1. The ViaSat-1 is capable of providing up to 40MB download speeds and 10MB uploads to the North American continent. Including Alaska and Hawaii. It is going to revolutionize satellite internet broadband access overnight.
Carlsbad, Calif. – October 20, 2011 – ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has announced that International Launch Services has successfully launched ViaSat-1, the highest capacity satellite in the world. The Proton M launch vehicle lifted off from pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 11:48 am (PDT) October 19, followed by spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle at 9:12 pm PDT, signal acquisition shortly thereafter, and finally deployment of both the north and south solar arrays.
ViaSat-1 is designed to transform the economics and quality of service that satellite broadband can provide. The technology is expected to elevate satellite into a much more competitive position in the broadband service marketplace, with the capacity to serve the accelerating growth in bandwidth demand for multimedia Internet access over the next decade. The complete system also includes the ViaSat SurfBeam® 2 ground system, already delivering high-speed broadband to Europe via Eutelsat’s KA-SAT.
“The launch of ViaSat-1 is the result of a fantastic team effort by all of the 2,000-plus people at ViaSat. We’ve come a long, long way, and we believe this satellite, combined with the skills and resources we’ve assembled throughout the company, will give a big boost to the satellite industry and our customers,” said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat. “We really appreciate the support of our launch team – ILS, Krunichev, Loral, and Telesat – in bringing it to fruition.
“The ViaSat-1 launch is a big step in fulfilling our vision for advanced Ka-band networks. We aim to begin consumer service by the end of 2011, and in-flight WiFi service on JetBlue next year, along with several other new, exciting applications.”
ILS President, Frank McKenna said, “It is always an honor to be entrusted to launch any of our customers’ satellites on ILS Proton. With ViaSat-1, it is especially so, as we support ViaSat’s innovative business plan for expanded high-speed broadband services with the launch of the most powerful all Ka-band satellite ever built. On behalf of ILS and Khrunichev, we congratulate ViaSat on achieving this milestone in enhancing the availability and quality of high-speed broadband across North America and Hawaii.”
The next steps to commercial service (all times approximate):
Raise the satellite to geosynchronous orbit – 10 days after launch
Deploy the antenna reflectors – immediately following arrival in geo orbit
Complete in-orbit testing (IOT) – 60 days after launch
Handover of satellite from SS/L to ViaSat – upon completion of IOT
Arrive on station at 115° W – one week following final IOT
Once on station, the ViaSat-1 high-capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite will include coverage over North America and Hawaii, enabling a variety of new, high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the U.S. and Xplornet through Telesat in Canada. ViaSat-1 joins WildBlue-1, Anik F2, and AMC-15 as capacity available for provision of WildBlue high-speed Internet access across America.
ViaSat delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and remote network access to fixed sites or on-the-move. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and offers high-speed Ka-band satellite broadband services under the WildBlue brand. ViaSat also offers design capabilities and a number of complementary products including monolithic microwave integrated circuits and modules, DVB-S2 satellite communication components, video data link systems, data acceleration and compression, and mobile satellite antenna systems. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.