SpaceX is teaming up with progressive satellite tv for pc operator Telesat for a sequence of 14 launches starting in 2026.
Every mission will see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carry as many as 18 Lightspeed web satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO).
The multi-launch collaboration between the 2 firms was introduced on Monday (Sept. 11) and can benefit from the flexibility of SpaceX‘s famously fast launch cadence. The liftoffs will happen from California and Florida.
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Telesat hopes it is going to be capable of take a look at its Lightspeed constellation — an optically linked community that may present a number of gigabytes per second of knowledge hyperlinks and broadband connectivity throughout the globe — by 2027. The corporate goals to start out offering providers that very same 12 months, after a historical past of delays skilled by the venture.
“SpaceX has been a trusted and efficient launch supplier to Telesat on our geostationary satellite tv for pc packages, and I’m delighted that they are going to be supporting us with their extremely dependable Falcon 9 rocket to deploy the Telesat Lightspeed constellation, essentially the most bold program in Telesat’s 54-year historical past,” Telesat President and CEO Dan Goldberg mentioned in a press release.
The Lightspeed constellation will probably be populated by round 198 satellites constructed by worldwide house firm MDA, which Telesat ordered in August 2023, House Information reported. The 1,650-pound (750 kilograms) LEO satellites exchange a bigger model, which was initially set to be constructed for Telesat by Thales Alenia House, however manufacturing delays pressured the change to MDA, leading to a $1.6 billion USD contract between Telesat and the Canada-based firm.
Telesat had initially deliberate to start launching its Lightspeed items in 2020 previous to the delay. Goldberg instructed SpaceNews that he now hopes that MDA will have the ability to create roughly one satellite tv for pc a day for the constellation starting in September 2024.
Goldberg defined that Telesat has the funding for 156 satellites that will probably be wanted for the Lightspeed constellation to start delivering web providers, and it’s at present trying to get funding for the extra 42 items wanted to supply the community with improved sign density.
The 14 Falcon 9 launches will probably be able to delivering 252 items to orbit at most, however the whole variety of satellites that every mission will have the ability to launch will rely upon the angle and inclination of the orbits into which they’re to be deployed.
“Given the dedication and professionalism of the SpaceX staff, and their excellent monitor file of reliability and demonstrated excessive launch cadence, I’ve the utmost confidence that they are going to be an excellent associate in serving to us carry Telesat Lightspeed into service in a well timed and low-risk method,” Goldberg concluded.
SpaceX already operates its personal web constellation, referred to as Starlink, which at present consists of greater than 4,700 operational satellites, all of which had been launched by Falcon 9 rockets.