Astranis Moves Launch of First Commercial Satellite to Falcon Heavy
The satellite will be launched directly into geostationary orbit, which means that broadband Internet service will come online months faster for underserved areas of Alaska.
San Francisco, September 23, 2021– (BUSINESS CONTACT) -Astranis announced today that its first commercial communications satellite set up to provide Alaska’s geostationary orbit service will now be launched as a secondary payload to the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on a direct injection mission scheduled for spring 2022. The profile The mission will allow the spacecraft to arrive in its orbital slot within days of launch and eliminate the need for a multi-month orbit from a highly elliptical geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
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Astranis’ first commercial satellite will be launched as a secondary payload of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. (Photo: Business Wire)
Astranis CEO John Gedmark said: “The launch of the Falcon Heavy will bring us into orbit months faster, allowing us to serve customers in Alaska so much earlier. That’s a huge profit for our customers in Alaska. “
The change of the launch vehicle from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 follows successful launch of a small-scale demonstration satellite in orbit, successful completion of the thermal-vacuum test of a qualified vehicle and successful completion of the critical design review. Astranis recently announced this the satellite is in its final stage of assembly after a successful end-to-end payload demonstration that showed results above specifications.
Astranis’ small communications satellite is designed for geostationary orbit to serve Alaska, a country that has long faced one of the sharpest digital divisions in the United States. According to Broadband Now, 39% of Alaska residents are underserved when it comes to Internet access – the highest percentage of all states. The Astranis satellite will triple the approximate available satellite capacity in Alaska, while reducing costs by up to a third of current prices for both residential and wholesale customers.
Pacific Dataport CEO Chuck Schumann said: “Working with the entire Astranis team was a great experience and we are excited to see that our satellite is ready to launch. There are more than 100,000 Alaska villagers ready for affordable broadband, and Astranis is helping us provide them with modern connectivity. This is a really big deal for Alaska. “
Astranis is building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites to connect the four billion people who currently do not have Internet access. Each spacecraft operates in geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of just 400 kg, using software-patented radio payload. This unique digital payload technology allows flexibility in frequency and coverage, as well as maximum use of valuable spectrum. By owning and operating its satellites and offering them to customers as a turnkey solution, Astranis is able to provide bandwidth as a service and unlock previously inaccessible markets. This allows Astranis to launch small, special satellites for small and medium-sized countries, Fortune 500 companies, existing satellite operators and other customers.
Astranis has successfully launched a test satellite into orbit and is currently in the process of launching its first commercial program – a satellite to provide broadband internet to Alaska, which will triple the available bandwidth in the state. This satellite is now in final assembly and is scheduled to launch in 2022. The company is based in San Francisco with a team of over 175, including world-class engineers from SpaceX, Boeing, Skybox, Qualcomm, Apple and Google. Astranis raised more than $ 350 million from the best Silicon Valleys and growth investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock and BlackRock.
For more information, follow astranis.com or Twitter at @astranis_space.
For Pacific Dataport Inc.
Pacific Dataport Inc. (PDI) is a mid-mile satellite provider based in Anchorage, Alaska. PDI was founded “from Alaska, to Alaska” to provide Internet access for everyone, anywhere in Alaska. PDI is focused on providing affordable middle and last mile broadband services using the latest satellite technology from the Aurora and OneWeb networks. PDI’s clients include telecommunications (wired and wireless), nonprofits, hospitals, health clinics, schools, libraries, governments (tribal, local, state, and federal), and local corporations, villages, and tribes in Alaska.
For more information on PDI, please visit pacificdataport.com.
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