ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has announced that construction of the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite is complete and that the spacecraft is being prepared for shipment to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ViaSat-1 is now scheduled for launch by International Launch Services (ILS) aboard a Proton rocket during the last week in September.
The expected summer launch of ViaSat's transformational Ka-band satellite was recently delayed when a solar array onboard the Telstar 14R communications satellite failed to fully deploy following its launch in May. Telstar 14R, like ViaSat-1, was built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and uses many of the same solar array elements. An extensive, independent review of the solar array design, manufacturing, and operation was convened by SS/L, which resulted in a set of inspections, tests, and corrective actions for subsequent SS/L satellites, including ViaSat-1. That work is now complete on ViaSat-1 and the satellite has been declared ready for flight.
"We have been working closely with ILS to fit ViaSat-1 into a busy launch schedule that was disrupted by the delay," said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat. "The satellite is now complete, the spacecraft is being prepared for shipment, and a final launch date will be confirmed very soon."
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