Astranis moves the launch of the first commercial satellite to Falcon Heavy
Press release from: astranis
Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Astranis announced today that its first commercial communications satellite, set up to provide a service to Alaska from geostationary orbit, will now be launched as a secondary payload to the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on a direct-injection mission set for spring 2022. Mission profile will allow a 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).
Astranis CEO John Hedmark said: “The launch of the Falcon Heavy will bring us into orbit months faster, which will allow us to serve customers in Alaska so much earlier. This is a huge profit for our customers in Alaska. “
The change of the launch vehicle from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 follows the successful launch of a large-scale demonstration satellite into orbit, the successful completion of thermal-vacuum tests on a qualified ship, and the successful completion of their critical design review. Astranis recently announced that the satellite is in its final stages 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 Alaskans who are 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 from a geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of just 400 kg, using its own software-defined radio payload. This unique digital payload technology allows frequency and flexibility of 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 already 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.
Astranis media contact
Christian Cale, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Dataport Inc. Media Contact
Alexander Schumann, email@example.com
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