The Jupiter 3 (EchoStar XXIV) satellite is the largest commercial spacecraft ever launched

The Jupiter 3 (EchoStar XXIV) satellite is the largest commercial spacecraft ever launched

The Jupiter 3 (EchoStar XXIV) is the highly anticipated, next generation Ultra High-Density Satellite (UHDS) that will double the capacity of the Jupiter satellite fleet operated by Hughes Network Systems, owned by satellite operator EchoStar. The bus-sized 9 tonnes weighing satellite was lifted on July 29th, 2023 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, on a Falcon Heavy rocket, operated by SpaceX, and is the largest commercial satellite ever launched.

Once launched, this powerful communications satellite, built by Maxar Technologies USA, will support in-flight Wi-Fi, maritime connections, enterprise networks, backhaul for Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s), and Community Wi-Fi solutions, in addition to satellite internet connectivity across North- and South-America.

EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corp. and is providing satellite communications solutions including video distribution, data communications and backhaul services for media and broadcast, enterprise, government and military customers. In addition, the company provides spacecraft operations and command and control services for EchoStar’s fleet of 24 owned, leased and managed in-orbit satellites.

Prior to 2008, the company operated the DISH Network service brand, which was spun off as DISH on January 1st, 2008. In August 2023 both entities were combined again aiming to leverage both satellite and terrestrial technologies for a competitive edge within the 5G ecosystem. The merged entity encompasses a diverse portfolio of customer brands, boasting a collective subscriber base of approximately 18 million.

On February 14th, 2011, EchoStar acquired Hughes Communications for 1.3 billion USD. The deal marked the second time EchoStar and Hughes attempted to merge, although both companies looked radically different before. In 2002, EchoStar and Hughes Electronics, owning DirecTV, had their combination shuttered by regulators who feared a monopoly in the satellite-TV businesses. Hughes operated the Jupiter satellite system (Jupiter-1 and Jupiter-2).