Spaceflight Insider

Global-IP Cayman secures launch slot with SpaceX

A SpaceX FT Falcon 9 sits at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A with the SES-10 communications satellite. Photo Credit: Sean Costello / SpaceFlight Insider

Photo Credit: Sean Costello / SpaceFlight Insider

SpaceX, on the heels of its successful launch of the SES-10 communications satellite using a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage, will add Global-IP Cayman to its list of customers needing a satellite launched.

Satellite communications company Global-IP says it has a mission to bring cost-effective internet and related value-added services to sub-Saharan Africa. The company has signed a contract with SpaceX to orbit its newest spacecraft, GiSAT-1, which is scheduled for launch in late 2018.

“We are pleased to partner with Global-IP for this important mission,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer.

The new satellite, with a 150-gigabyte-per-second capacity, is known as a high-throughput satellite (HTS) and is currently being built by Boeing.

GiSAT-1 will be launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket into a geostationary orbit. Its final equatorial orbital slot is expected to be just off the west coast of Africa. With a mission lifespan of 15 years, it will provide high-speed internet access to both individual consumers and businesses.

“Global-IP’s first HTS will cover areas across sub-Saharan Africa with a combined population of over 800 million people,” said Global-IP co-founder Emil Youssefzadeh. “We envision our investment in this project will increase the internet penetration across the region and contribute significantly to the economic growth of all the countries we will serve.”

SpaceX has a busy launch manifest for 2017 and 2018. In addition to the recent SES-10 satellite, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets have also launched EchoStar 23 and 10 Iridium NEXT satellites. Additionally, it has also sent a Dragon cargo ship to resupply the International Space Station.

In a post-launch press conference after the successful SES-10 mission, Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO and founder, said the company has about 20 additional missions on its manifest for 2017.

For 2017, the Hawthorne, California-based company is looking to launch communication satellites for Inmarsat of London, Bulsatcom, Intelsat, up to three more for SES, KTsat, and two more Iridium NEXT missions with 10 satellites on each flight.

That is in addition to launches for various governments and, potentially, up to three more Dragon flights to the space station. Moreover, SpaceX is hoping to launch a Falcon Heavy demonstration mission as well as the first unpiloted test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft.

 

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Lloyd Campbell’s first interest in space began when he was a very young boy in the 1960s with NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs. That passion continued in the early 1970s with our continued exploration of our Moon, and was renewed by the Shuttle Program. Having attended the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its final two missions, STS-131, and STS-133, he began to do more social networking on space and that developed into writing more in-depth articles. Since then he’s attended the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, the agency’s new crew-rated Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test 1, and multiple other uncrewed launches. In addition to writing, Lloyd has also been doing more photography of launches and aviation. He enjoys all aspects of space exploration, both human, and robotic, but his primary passions lie with human exploration and the vehicles, rockets, and other technologies that allow humanity to explore space.

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