With the goal of providing high-speed broadband internet access around the globe, Viasat has partnered with Boeing to engineer and build three cutting-edge satellites. When they have all been launched, the ViaSat-3 satellites will establish a constellation of coverage spanning almost the entire planet.

Viasat and Boeing Partnership Launch Timeline

Viasat delivered the payload for the first of these satellites, ViaSat-3 (Flight 1), to Boeing’s California satellite facility in summer 2021. This followed unavoidable pandemic delays. With Boeing managing pre-launch spacecraft integration and testing, Viasat expects to launch the ViaSat-3 (Flight 1) satellite in the first half of 2022.

Launch Partners for ViaSat-3 Satellites

Throughout the development of the ViaSat-3 global constellation project, Viasat finalized contracts with three different launch partners:

When the contracts were finalized, launch partners were not yet paired with any particular satellite launch order. However, the original Viasat contract with SpaceX laid out an expected launch event in the 2020-2022 window. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center only lists rocket launch dates that are confirmed.

ViaSat-3 Launch with Falcon Heavy

When a ViaSat-3 satellite launch is executed by SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy will be utilized to carry the payload. Launching from the NASA Kennedy Space Center, the Falcon Heavy will carry ViaSat-3 (Flight 1) because the Falcon Heavy can fly a near “direct-injection mission.” It is capable of inserting a satellite quite close to geostationary orbit, eliminating the need for time-consuming orbit adjustments. This will allow ViaSat-3 (Flight 1) testing to begin quickly. By initiating testing soon after launch, the ViaSat-3 satellite will be able to transition faster to providing high-speed broadband service.

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