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September 9, 2019

SpaceX to launch “groundbreaking” medium earth orbit satellite constellation

By Lucy Ingham

A medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellation with the ability to broadcast on the terabit scale is set to be launched by SpaceX in 2021.

Developed by SES, the MEO satellite constellation has been described by the company as “groundbreaking” for its ability to dynamically serve a host of different customers and industries as required.

Initially the constellation, which is known as O3b mPOWER, will be made up of seven satellites. Each of these is high-throughput and low-latency, with the ability to generate thousands of electronically-steered beams that can be directed and adjusted as required.

This will enable SES to use the system to provide communications solutions for industries as diverse as offshore, mining, cruise and aerospace.

“Momentum in the O3b mPOWER ecosystem is accelerating quickly as we continue to build the right partnerships to bring this massively innovative communications system to market,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES.

SES-SpaceX partnership advances medium earth orbit satellite capabilities

The medium earth orbit satellite constellation is the latest in a number of projects SES and SpaceX have partnered on.

SpaceX’s first ever commercial payload was an SES product, while the space company also credits its partnership with the satellite company for helping to develop its reusable rocket.

“We are pleased that SES has once again selected Falcon 9 to launch their powerful, groundbreaking communications system,” said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer at SpaceX.

“SES has been an important partner for SpaceX – fully supporting our efforts to make rocket reusability a reality. We are proud to play a part in SES bringing revolutionary connectivity solutions to the market.”

“Working with SpaceX as our launch provider is fitting because in the last seven years we have already jointly made multiple revolutionary industry advancements that make access to space innovation more cost-efficient and unlock new opportunities in critical markets,” added Collar.

“We are delighted to have SpaceX as partners for our historic O3b mPOWER launch, and together, we will extend high-performance connectivity to all who have limited access to it today.”


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