SES has selected SpaceX to launch four newly-ordered O3b mPOWER spacecraft for O3b mPOWER, the operator’s next-generation Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO) communications system.
The operator chose SpaceX to launch the first seven O3b mPOWER satellites a year ago. All 11 satellites will be launched on Falcon 9 rockets from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Four Falcon 9 rockets will support the deployment of all 11 satellites. The first set of satellites are set to be launched in late 2021.
SES and SpaceX have a history of milestone launches, as SES was the first operator to launch a commercial Geostationary (GEO) satellite, SES-8, with SpaceX in 2013. SES was also the first ever payload on a previously flown SpaceX rocket with SES-10 in 2017.
“SES’s selection of SpaceX to support launch of the full O3b mPOWER constellation is a testament to our deep partnership built over the past decade,” SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero said in a Thursday release.
Boeing is currently building the first seven O3b mPOWER satellites for SES, and was recently selected to build the additional four. According to SES, the high-throughput, low-latency satellites will deliver connectivity services ranging from 50 Mbps to multiple gigabits per second to markets including telecommunications, maritime, aeronautical, energy, and governments. Orange and Carnival Cruises have been announced as customers.
“O3b mPOWER is the cornerstone of our multi-orbit, cloud-enabled, high-performance network that will serve our enterprise, mobility and government customers into the next decade, and we are merely a year away from its first launch,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “We have a strong and long-standing partnership with SpaceX and we are excited to add the launches of additional O3b mPOWER satellites that will drive higher throughput, greater efficiency and substantially more bandwidth to our industry-leading network.”
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