Viasat-2 & Eutelsat-172B Satellites encapsulated at Arianespace.

Viasat-2 & Eutelsat-172B satellites encapsulated at Arianespace

The ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat-172B Satellites were capsulated prior to the dual launch with the Ariane 5 launcher operated by Arianespace. The launch took place in June 2017 from the Kourou Space port in French Guiana.

The ViaSat-2 satellite is a high-capacity broadband satellite operated by satellite operator ViaSat Inc. Boeing was selected in May 2013 to provide the satellite and payload for ViaSat-2.

The spacecraft was scheduled to launch in 2016 and was expected to provide more than 15 years of service life. It employs Boeing’s space-proven BSS-702HP platform and high-capacity Ka-band spot beam technology to ultimately service more broadband users at faster data rates than any previous satellite. With 350Gbps it has about 2.5 times the capacity of Viasat-1.

ViaSat-2 covers all of North America, Central America and the Caribbean, with coverage including the U.S. East Coast seaboard commercial air routes and the main air and maritime routes between North America and Europe. The coverage area is seven times the size of ViaSat-1’s coverage.

The satellite was booked on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy (Block 5) rocket for a launch in late 2016, but was moved to an Ariane 5ECA rocket, operated by launch operator Arianespace, in 2017 due to schedule uncertainties. The launch occurred on June 1st, 2017 in a dual launch with Eutelsat-172B for satellite operator Eutelsat.

During testing on orbit, an antenna deployment issue was identified, which causes some spot beams to perform differently than they did during ground testing. This problem limits the downlink to downlink to 260Gbps.

The ViaSat-2 satellite is part of a new satellite system architecture created by ViaSat Inc. The objective is to create a better satellite broadband user experience, making satellite competitive with DSL and wireless broadband alternatives for the first time.

Eutelsat 172B is a new high-capacity satellite delivering increased capacity for fast-growing applications in Asia Pacific, including in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video and government services.

Located at the key 172° neighbourhood, the satellite provides exceptional land and sea reach over Asia Pacific, from Alaska to Australia. The satellite replaced the Eutelsat 172A that was moved to 174° East renamed Eutelsat 174A.

The Eutelsat 172B satellite is a triple mission satellite with three distinct payloads:

Eutelsat 172B was constructed by Airbus Defense & Space and was launched on January 6th, 2017 on an Ariane 5 rocket operated by launch operator Arianespace in a dual launch with Viasat-2 satellite for Viasat satellite operator.

Arianespace is one of the world’s leading satellite launch company, operating a full family of launchers: Ariane 5 for heavy lift spacecraft, the Soyuz for medium size and Vega for light weight spacecraft.

The French multinational company was the world’s first commercial launch serviceprovider and operates five locations worldwide for the production, operation and marketing of the Ariane program. Arianespace operates its launch services from South America (at the Spaceport in French Guiana) and Central Asia (at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazachstan).

The company was founded in 1980 and has its headquarters in Courcouronnes, France, near Paris. Arianespace, a subsidiary of The Arianegroup, launched more than 550 satellites since 1980. Total revenues in 2018 exceeded 1.4 billion euros.

On 21 October 2011 Arianespace launched the first Soyuz rocket ever from outside former Soviet territory. The payload was two Galileo navigation satellites.

Arianespace primary shareholders are its suppliers, in the various nations of the EU. Arianespace currently has 20 shareholders with France as the largest stakeholder (64%) in the Ariane development program. Other countries that support the program are Germany (20%), Belgium (3,5%), Denmark, Spain (2%), Italy (3%), The Netherlands (2%), Norway (0,1%), Sweden and Switzerland (2,7%).

Arianespace launched satellites for all major satellite operators, such as Intelsat, Eutelsat, Telesat, SKY Perfect JSAT from Japan, ISRO from India, Hellas-Sat (ArabSat) and many others.