Since last week, a structure weighing just over nine tons has been moving over our heads. We are talking about Jupiter-3, the world’s largest private telecommunications satellite, launched July 28 by SpaceX. As you can imagine, the rocket chosen for this mission was the Falcon Heavy, the aerospace company’s most powerful active launch system until Starship is ready.
Jupiter 3 began sending its first test signals after deploying its solar arrays. Now that this new space add-on is in its new home in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and proven to work, you might be wondering what its purpose will be. The answer is to improve the capabilities of US satellite internet provider Hughes by strengthening its existing fleet of Jupiter satellites.
In-flight Wi-Fi, maritime connections and more
The operator and owner of the satellite explains that once it reaches its orbital position of 95 degrees West and completes its launch, it will begin providing service to North America and South America on the Ka band, as well as the Q and V bands for gateways. .link. The system will provide 500 Gbps additions to the Jupiter network, including on-board Wi-Fi, maritime connections, corporate networks, carrier networks for mobile operators, and more.
Prior to its deployment, Jupiter 3 was about 7 meters long, but after its solar arrays were deployed, its dimensions increased to nearly 39 meters. The panels will be responsible for maintaining the operation of the satellite for its approximate useful life of 15 years. The satellite body contains the propulsion and propulsion systems, as well as the telecommunications systems necessary to provide communication services.
All this is complemented by Spot Beams for emitting and receiving signals. Since Jupiter 3, like any other satellite, will gradually change its position in space, it has several engines that correct its position and ensure it orbital position. The useful life of satellites, as we remember, is usually mainly associated with rocket engine fuel, and if it runs out, there is no way to adjust its orbit.
Although the satellite was launched by SpaceX and is owned by Hughes, it was designed and manufactured by Maxar Technologies. The firm, also American, built Jupiter 3 at its Palo Alto, California facilities, with a number of technological improvements such as miniaturization of electronics, solid-state amplifiers, and a more efficient design. Over time, we will know if he achieves his goals.
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