Rocket and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX has secured a contract to launch one of the ViaSat-3 class of Ka-band satellite missions scheduled between the 2020 and 2022.

The Viasat mission will be launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy space rocket from the Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US.

Viasat Space Systems president Dave Ryan said: “Viasat sought a ViaSat-3 launch partner that understood our unique mission requirements: to safely and quickly bring a ViaSat-3 spacecraft into orbit, to further our goal of delivering terabits of data from space to meet growing global broadband demand.

“We selected SpaceX as they continue to demonstrate their commitment to advancing space technologies. Their proven technology is both powerful and efficient enough to thrust a ViaSat-3 spacecraft close to geostationary orbit.”

“We selected SpaceX as they continue to demonstrate their commitment to advancing space technologies. Their proven technology is both powerful and efficient.”

Global communications company Viasat selected the heavy-lift launch vehicle for its ability to carry out a near direct-injection mission, inserting a ViaSat-3 satellite extremely close to geostationary orbit.

This will enable the spacecraft to commence in-orbit testing (IOT) immediately after launch, instead of spending weeks or months conducting orbit raising manoeuvres.

Viasat will be able to turn on its ultra-high-speed broadband service much faster than with other launch vehicles.

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The satellites are designed to provide enhanced capabilities in terms of service speed and flexibility for a satellite platform.

The first two satellites have been respectively planned for the Americas and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, while the third satellite will be for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Each ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to provide more than one terabit per second of network capacity.