Control of Morelos-3 handed over to Mexican government
The Mexican government has taken control of the Morelos-3 spacecraft launched on Oct. 2, 2015, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 421 rocket. Part of the Mexsat system, the spacecraft was launched to replace Mexsat 1, which was lost some eight minutes and 10 seconds after lifting off atop an International Launch Services Proton-M rocket on May 16, 2015.
Morelos-3, essentially a replacement for Mexsat-1, is identical in design and capabilities to the doomed Mexsat-1 spacecraft which ended up burning up in Earth’s atmosphere somewhere above Siberia.
“With the Boeing 702HP satellite, Mexico has delivered on its vision to provide 3G+ voice and data services to mobile terminals that are now an integral part of the government’s communications infrastructure,” said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. “Boeing looks forward to continuing its strong relationship with Mexico by providing additional technology and support as the country’s telecommunications needs grow.”
As Spiwak noted, Morelos-3 is based on Boeing’s 702HP design and was developed in a partnership between the aerospace giant and Mexico. The spacecraft was deployed to serve as an advanced mobile satellite system which will provide services for Mexico’s national security, civil as well as humanitarian programs.
Morelos-3 will continue to undergo testing over the course of the next few months. The full system is expected to be operational sometime in the middle of next year (2016). It will be managed by Telecomunicaciones de Mexico on behalf of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation.
The Mexsat system is comprised of three spacecraft, two designed and built by Boeing. The third was sent aloft in 2012 and was built by the then Orbital Sciences Corporation (now Orbital ATK) on the GEOStar-2 platform. The Mexsat system also requires two ground network and satellite control stations (located in Mexico) as well as other logistical elements.
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.