SES anticipates launching its newest Ka-band satellite on 22 October. The SES-17 satellite completed its pre-launch testing at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Cannes, France. Next up is shipment to Arianespace’s Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana on 22 September 2021. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched by Arianespace, using an Ariane 5 vehicle.
SES-17 offers a significant boost to Ka-band coverage and capacity in the western hemisphere. Operating in geosynchronous orbit, the satellite will serve North America, South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean with Ka-band coverage.
Anchor customer Thales Avionics will add the SES-17 coverage into its portfolio, offering a major boost to the company’s nascent in-flight connectivity solution.
The expanded coverage footprint will enable Spirit Airlines to offer service across its entire route map once the aircraft installations complete. Spirit’s A321 fleet is 100% installed currently while half the A320s carry the gear on board. Installations have not started on the A320neo and A319.
Read More: Solving the Thales Ka-band antenna conundrum
Given the launch date and typical timing to raise into GEO orbit, expect that SES-17 should be ready to enter service by early 2022.
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