San Diego Business Journal

Satellite Launch Delayed Again

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ViaSat Inc., the Carlsbad maker of satellite equipment, said it is delaying the launch of ViaSat-1, its broadband Internet satellite, for the second time to mid-October.

The company said on Sept. 8 that the delay was caused by the launch failure of a Russian communication satellite on Aug. 18. ViaSat initially planned to launch its satellite in August, but had to delay it because of a glitch found in a similar satellite in May, causing the launch to be postponed until late September.

ViaSat said construction and testing of the $400 million ViaSat-1 has been completed at the builder, SpaceSystems/Loral, in advance of its shipping next week to the launch site in Kazakhstan.

The company has embarked on a strategy of moving beyond being a supplier of equipment to satellites, to providing broadband Internet services to consumers through its own satellite, mainly to rural areas of North America.

With a capacity estimated at 150 gigabits per second, ViaSat-1 will become the highest capacity satellite in the world once it’s safely orbiting, the Carlsbad company said.

— Mike Allen