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Astranis Space Technologies signs with SpaceX for dedicated launch in 2023
by Staff Writers
San Francisco CA (SPX) Apr 06, 2022

File image of the Astranis bus that will form the basis of the company's MicroGEO satellites.

Astranis Space Technologies Corp. has signed a contract with SpaceX for a dedicated Falcon 9 launch to put four Astranis MicroGEO communications satellites into service in 2023.

The Astranis payload is well below the maximum payload capacity for a Falcon 9 vehicle, translating into a performance bonus that Astranis is using to tailor the insertion orbit to the mission and propel its compact MicroGEO satellites into service sooner than with a shared ride. The MicroGEOs will be launched to a custom geostationary orbit, with the four satellites individually conducting on-orbit maneuvers to inject themselves into their orbital slots.

"Buying an entire dedicated launch is a huge de-risker for us," said John Gedmark, CEO and co-founder, Astranis. "We're able to control our own destiny here, from a scheduling standpoint. We're also getting an impressive amount of extra performance, getting us closer to our intended orbit and delivering service to our customers much sooner."

The four new spacecraft contain a number of upgrades to the Astranis MicroGEO satellite platform. Enhancements include increased throughput, extended mission lifetime, and higher redundancy. The four spacecraft will be mounted to a standard adapter ring, known as an ESPA-Grande, for ease of deployment.

"Our plan has always been to iterate the design while scaling production to the point where we are building and launching dozens of satellites into orbit every year," said Gedmark. "By 2030 there will be more than 100 Astranis satellites in active service, connecting millions of people in underserved communities worldwide with true low-cost broadband internet access."

Astranis MicroGEO satellites are 1/20th the size and 1/20th the cost of traditional GEO communications satellites. Astranis provides dedicated satellite bandwidth as a service with a lower price tag and much shorter build times, enabling broadband connectivity for people wherever and whenever they need it.

Related Links
Astranis Space Technologies
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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SpaceX to test-fire rocket ahead of Axiom-1 private astronaut mission
Washington DC (UPI) Apr 1, 2021
SpaceX plans to test-fire a Falcon 9 rocket on Monday ahead of its first private astronaut mission, Axiom-1, to the International Space Station. The test, dubbed a static fire test, is a routine part of prelaunch procedures. All nine of the Falcon's Merlin 1D engines will briefly fire up as the rocket is held firmly to the launch pad. The ignition will enable engineers to ensure that the rocket's systems are ready to launch. If the test goes as planned, SpaceX will attempt to laun ... read more

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