ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has announced that ViaSat-1, the highest capacity satellite in the world, is now positioned in geosynchronous orbit where it will begin in-orbit testing. Since launching on October 19, ViaSat-1 has successfully completed all scheduled maneuvers:
-- Deployment of solar arrays
-- Six apogee motor firings, lifting the spacecraft from transfer orbit to geosynchronous orbit
-- Deployment of main reflectors and sub-reflectors
-- Deployment of stationary plasma thrusters for satellite positioning
On Wednesday the satellite's payload was switched on, enabling the first high-capacity satellite over North America to begin a series of in-orbit tests. Those tests will be followed by a move to its operational orbital location. The 140 Gbps capacity satellite is scheduled to enter service in late December. At that time the initial ViaSat-1 service will launch and then services will sequentially expand across the United States over the following months.
ViaSat -1 is the second multi-spotbeam satellite to use ViaSat's transformational high-capacity satellite system architecture, following the launch of services on Eutelsat KA-SAT in Europe earlier this year. The satellite was built for ViaSat by Space Systems/Loral, and launched by International Launch Services.
ViaSat-1 is designed to transform the economics and quality of service that satellite broadband can provide. The technology is expected to elevate satellite into a much more competitive position in the broadband service marketplace, with the capacity to serve the accelerating growth in bandwidth demand for multimedia Internet access over the next decade. The high-capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite includes coverage over North America and Hawaii, enabling a variety of new, high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the U.S., Xplornet in Canada, and JetBlue Airways on its domestic U.S. fleet.
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