Carlsbad-based Viasat said it has contracted with Hawthorne-based SpaceX to launch the first of its ViaSat-3 satellites. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The mission is scheduled for launch in the 2020 to 2022 timeframe aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Carlsbad business said it chose the Falcon Heavy for its ability to fly a near direct-injection mission, inserting a ViaSat-3 satellite extremely close to geostationary orbit. As a result, the spacecraft can begin in-orbit testing quickly after launch, rather than spending weeks or months performing orbit raising maneuvers.
Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT) plans to put its first two ViaSat-3 satellites over the Americas and the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). It plans a third satellite for the Asia Pacific region. Each ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to deliver more than 1 terabit per second of network capacity.
Viasat made the contract announcement on Oct. 25.