SES has launched the first two Boeing-built O3b mPOWER satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
he satellites, which represent SES’ second-generation medium earth orbit system, were lifted off to space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 5:48 pm, the company announced from the station on Friday.
“From concept to reality, the partnership with SES while developing the first-of-its-kind technology has been remarkable,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing Space and Launch and previous Wash100 Award winner.
“The next few months will be another critical collaboration period as we prepare the next nine satellites for launch and enable these first satellites to fulfill their mission to connect people around the world,” he continued.
Each of the ecosystem’s initial 11 satellites is endowed with over 5,000 digitally formed beams as well as an expansive O3b mPOWER ground infrastructure, providing SES with means to address present and future connectivity demands of governments, mobile network operators and other private companies.
Users of the O3b mPOWER system, which is designed to deliver a software-driven payload, will be able to leverage the satellites’ terabit-level scale, flexible throughput, roundtrip latency of under 150 milliseconds and service availability.
Numerous companies, including Microsoft, have already signed up for O3b mPOWER. Commercial service is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023.
“With our second-generation O3b mPOWER, we are bringing game-changing technology that delivers a unique combination of multiple gigabits per second of throughput at any location, guaranteed reliability and service flexibility that is a first in the industry,” said SES CEO Steve Collar.
SES has recently worked to deliver its satellite offerings to the federal government. In May, SES won a Funded Space Act Agreement from NASA’s Communications Services Project to aid in the development and demonstration of near-earth communication services, which includes the provision of O3b mPOWER.
Also in May, the company was awarded a TROJAN follow-on contract to support the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command using its satellite network, which expands on the initial 1998 award.