Two newly launched Boeing [NYSE: BA]-built satellites are sending and receiving signals as they continue their journey to their orbital destinations. The satellites will enable SES, a leader in global content connectivity solutions provider, to continue delivering C-band broadcast and radio services as well as critical network communications to the United States.
The pair of all-electric propulsion 702SP (small platform) satellites, SES-20 and SES-21, launched at 5:36 p.m. EDT yesterday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station atop a ULA Atlas V rocket. After an approximate 6-hour coast and burn phase, the Centaur upper stage delivered the satellites to a near-GEO orbit. The satellites are currently orbit-raising to their test locations using electric propulsion en route to their final orbital operating slots at 103 degrees West and 131 degrees West, respectively.
“Our unique dual-launch configuration was again successful on this mission,” said Ryan Reid, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “That coupled with the ULA Atlas V’s ability to achieve an advantageous orbit enables SES to get these satellites into service in a matter of weeks. We appreciate the faith SES has put in our industry team to make that happen.”
Following on-orbit checkouts, SES-20 and SES-21 are expected to begin operations in November. The satellites are part of SES’s accelerated C-band clearing plan to meet the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s objectives to roll out 5G services across the United States, an initiative that impacts all mobile users.
“The successful launch of SES-20 and SES-21 will allow us to support our customers in delivering high-quality sports and entertainment to tens of millions of U.S. households while delivering on our promise to repurpose spectrum to enable U.S. leadership in 5G,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “The second phase of our U.S. C-band clearing activities is fully on track and we are grateful for the hard work of our partners at Boeing and ULA.”