Spaceflight Insider

Kacific contracts with SpaceX to orbit Kacific-1 satellite

An artist's rendering of the Kacific-1 satellite in orbit. Image Credit: Kacific Broadband Satellite Group.

An artist’s rendering of the Kacific-1 satellite in orbit. Image Credit: Kacific Broadband Satellites Group.

Kacific Broadband Satellites Group has selected SpaceX to launch the company’s Kacific-1 broadband satellite. Tentatively scheduled for launch in 2019, the Boeing-built telecommunications spacecraft will provide services to users in the Asia-Pacific region.

The satellite will host 56 narrow Ka-band beams, each capable of providing up to 1.25 gigabits-per-second of broadband service. Demand in the region has been so strong that Kacific already has contracts for 51 of those transponders. Additionally, the company is already making plans for its second satellite.

Although the company ordered the satellite from Boeing earlier in 2017, it only recently selected SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket to launch the spacecraft.

“SpaceX has a breadth of vision that appeals to us,” said Kacific CEO Christian Patouraux in a release issued by the company. “Signing with SpaceX as our launch service provider is a major step toward delivering our own vision.”

SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company appreciates Kacific’s confidence in the NewSpace company’s capabilities and looks forward to delivering its satellite into orbit.

“SpaceX is proud to partner with Kacific on the milestone launch of the company’s first satellite, Kacific-1,” Shotwell said.

The satellite is being built on Boeing’s 702 spacecraft bus and will also host a payload from Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. This type of arrangement is typically called a “condosat,” and helps to defray costs by allowing two operators to share the use of a single satellite.

Although no specific launch date has been set, both Kacific and SpaceX are targeting the latter half of 2019. 

Video courtesy of Kacific Broadband Satellites

 

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Curt Godwin has been a fan of space exploration for as long as he can remember, keeping his eyes to the skies from an early age. Initially majoring in Nuclear Engineering, Curt later decided that computers would be a more interesting - and safer - career field. He's worked in education technology for more than 20 years, and has been published in industry and peer journals, and is a respected authority on wireless network engineering. Throughout this period of his life, he maintained his love for all things space and has written about his experiences at a variety of NASA events, both on his personal blog and as a freelance media representative.

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