SpaceX to launch Intelsat’s high-throughput telecoms sat

SpaceX to launch Intelsat’s high-throughput satellite

19 March 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

SpaceX has won a second contract to launch a satellite for Intelsat – five years after the first deal.

Elon Musk’s launcher company will use its Falcon 9 rocket to put Intelsat 40e into orbit in 2022, the company announced.

Mike DeMarco, chief services officer of Intelsat, said: “IS-40e [the code name for the satellite] will join the Intelsat Epic high-throughput satellite fleet and integrated IntelsatOne ground network to provide our customers with the managed hybrid-connectivity they need in today’s ever-changing world.”

Intelsat 40e will be in geostationary orbit to serve government and enterprise customers in North and Central America from coast to coast.

The company said: “The satellite’s capabilities will support the growing number of customers that depend on Intelsat’s managed services and solutions to easily integrate satellite into their overall networking and communications strategies.”

The 40e will also carry a payload for NASA, its Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (Tempo) project. This will be is a UV-visible spectrometer that will detect pollutants by measuring sunlight reflected and scattered from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.

The resulting data will be used to enhance air-quality forecasts in North America, enabling the more effective early public warning of pollution incidents.

The first and only time so far that Intelsat has used SpaceX was in 2017, for Intelsat 35e, a satellite currently providing high-throughput coverage for Intelsat customers in portions of North and South America, Europe and Africa.

“We look forward to working with SpaceX to launch Intelsat 40e in 2022,” said DeMarco.

Maxar will build 40e and will integrate the NASA payload.