The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket using Booster B0173 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, at 8:32 p.m. EST (01:32 GMT) Monday. The mission was the 9th launch for SpaceX in 2023 and the 202nd flight of a SpaceX Falcon rocket since 2006. This was the booster B0173's sixth mission, which landed on the drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" in the Atlantic Ocean nearly 400 miles (about 620 kilometers) downrange east of Cape Canaveral approximately nine minutes after launch.
In January 2020, Hispasat, the Spanish satellite telecommunications operator, awarded Thales Alenia Space the contract to build the 4,500-kilogram spacecraft in Cannes, France. The Amazonas Nexus is based on the Spacebus NEO platform, which will replace and expand the capacities of the Amazonas 2 satellite.
Amazonas Nexus satellite will enable Hispasat to provide North and South America, Greenland, Atlantic corridors, airplanes, and ships with internet, television, radio, and mobile communications. It has an on-orbit lifespan of roughly 15 years, making it the most efficient satellite in HISPASAT's fleet. It will increase Hispasat's Ku-band offer, aimed at the growing demand from air and maritime transport.
The satellite will also provide bandwidth for in-flight WiFi for airline passengers over the United States for Intelsat, formerly known as Gogo Commercial Aviation.
The new satellite features full electric propulsion, making the satellite lighter and contributing to a lower launch cost. In addition, a state-of-the-art fifth-generation Digital Transparent Processor (DTP), which can digitally process the transmitted data and increase its flexibility to adapt to the evolution of the market.
Miguel Angel Panduro, CEO of Hispasat, expressed his satisfaction for the agreement reached with Thales Alenia Space, "that will enable us to build the most dynamic and advanced satellite in our fleet and make an important step forward into the digital solutions that will conform the future of satellite technologies," he stated. "With Amazonas Nexus, HISPASAT continues to innovate to respond to the satellite market and the needs of its customers with the most advanced technology." Panduro concluded.
"Today's market volatility needs cutting-edge and future-proof technologies. Amazonas Nexus satellite's design combines ideally the digital agility and dynamicity with the robustness of our satellite solutions. The recent contracts, awarded to serve the European, Asian and now American markets, demonstrate the valuable benefit of Thales Alenia Space's digital solutions to our satellite operators' customers". said Jean-Loic Galle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space.
Amazonas Nexus is the 3rd satellite ordered by HISPASAT to Thales Alenia Space after HISPASAT 1C and 1D, the 7th satellite based on the Spacebus NEO platform, and the 5th to embark on a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) of the 5th generation.
Also onboard is the U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile System Center's high-bandwidth protected communications transponder called Pathfinder 2, led by the service provider Artel and supported by Hunter Communications. Pathfinder 2 includes a 108 MHz payload that complies with the U.S. Department of Defense's demanding security requirements.
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