October 7, 2011

Guess What Just Arrived in Kazakhstan!

No, it’s not Borat! It’s the ViaSat-1 satellite that will help us launch the most technologically-advanced onboard connectivity when it launches into space in the coming weeks.

You may remember last year when we made the big announcement that we’d be partnering with ViaSat to create the industry’s best in-flight broadband system using their Ka-band satellite technology. Plans are underway, most recently with the arrival of the ViaSat-1 satellite to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where it will undergo processing procedures until it will be ready to launch. The Baikonur Cosmodrome was founded in 1955 and is the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility; it’s leased to Russia until 2050 by the Kazakh government and is managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Space Forces.

Just today our partners at ViaSat announced that the launch of the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19 at 2:48 p.m. ET. The satellite will be launched from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The fueling of the ViaSat-1 spacecraft was completed on Monday, October 3. The spacecraft has been mated to the launch vehicle Payload Adapter (PLA) and the PLA is what holds the satellite to the launch vehicle during launch. Also the satellite was mated to the Breeze M upper stage on Wednesday, October 5. In the next phase of pre-launch preparations, the mating of the Breeze M to the Proton Rocket, fueling of the Breeze M, rollout to the launch pad and final countdown preparations over the next two weeks.

Learn more about the satellite by visiting: http://www.facebook.com/ViaSat

Check out these cool pictures of the satellite being off-loaded from the plane and of the satellite SES QuetzSat-1 test launch. Stay tuned for more about our launch date coming soon!

The fueling of the ViaSat-1 spacecraft was completed on Monday, October 3. In the next phase of pre-launch preparations, the satellite will be mated to the launch vehicle payload adapter to begin the joint operations phase of the program.  The combined assembly will then be joined with the Breeze M upper stage in preparation for mating to the Proton launch vehicle early next week.

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