ViaSat Inc.'s (NASDAQ: VSAT) ViaSat-2 satellite is in the final launch preparation stage at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, and is scheduled to launch on June 1, at 4:45 pm PDT. ViaSat is a provider of global broadband services and technology, and their ViaSat-2 satellite system is expected to significantly improve speeds, reduce costs and expand the footprint of broadband services across North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe.
The ViaSat-2 is a geostationary satellite that operates in Ka-band frequencies designed to offer high-capacity connectivity and wide coverage, with the flexibility to move capacity to where demand requires it. Comparing ViaSat-1 to ViaSat-2, which is expected to double the bandwidth, with more than 300 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of total network capacity, as well as provide seven times the broadband coverage.
Since arriving in French Guiana the ViaSat-2 satellite has undergone testing to verify its health prior to fueling; chemical fuel loading (ViaSat-2 has a hybrid propulsion system, that uses traditional chemical propulsion as well as electric propulsion; and then the final process of mating ViaSat-2 to the launch vehicle. In the final process, ViaSat-2 was mated to the payload adapter, which holds the satellite to the rocket. All events have been successfully verified, declaring ViaSat-2 ready for launch.
Launch has been scheduled for June 1, in a one hour launch window commencing at 4:45 pm PDT, and will take place from the Guiana Space Center located in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite will weigh 6,418 kg at launch, and will be sent into geostationary transfer orbit by the Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle. ViaSat-2 will be located at an orbital slot located at 69.9° west longitude.
The ViaSat-2 mission will take less than 30 minutes from liftoff to separation. Once the satellite separates from the rocket, the next major event will be acquisition, which is the point at which the satellite first communicates with, and accepts commands from a ground station. Acquisition is expected to occur approximately 15 minutes after separation. At that point, the mission can be considered successful.