Global communications company Viasat Inc. announced today it selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) proven Atlas V vehicle to launch one of its ViaSat-3 satellite missions. This is the first commercial contract ULA has directly signed since assuming responsibility for the marketing and sales of the Atlas V launch vehicle from Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services earlier this year.
The Viasat mission will carry one of the ViaSat-3 series spacecraft and is scheduled to launch in the 2020 – 2022 timeframe from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This mission will launch aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle, the largest in the Atlas V fleet. The 551 configuration provides the performance to deliver a ViaSat-3 satellite into a high-energy geostationary transfer orbit where it can begin on-orbit operations faster than with other available launch vehicles.
The selection of Atlas V for one of the ViaSat-3 missions is the next step in implementing Viasat’s integrated launch strategy which is designed to ensure the on-time launch of all of the ViaSat-3 spacecraft through launch vehicle diversity and an integrated approach to launch planning. Viasat will announce specific mission assignments for each of the contracted launch vehicles at a later date.
“ULA continues to demonstrate schedule certainty and flexibility, as well as be a trustworthy and reliable business partner. This coupled with unmatched Atlas V launch vehicle reliability and tailored mission design capabilities made ULA a strong partner for a ViaSat-3 launch mission,” said Dave Ryan, president, Space Systems at Viasat. “ULA is known for providing an innovative launch solution that is focused on mission success, which will allow us to meet our business objectives to bring high-speed, high-quality broadband connectivity to meet end-user demand.”
“ULA’s Atlas V launch vehicle is the most reliable launch vehicle in the world and we could not be more pleased that Viasat, a leading satellite broadband innovator, has recognized the value the Atlas V can offer, and decided to select this rocket to launch its critical commercial communications satellite,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO.
The ViaSat-3 class of Ka-band satellites is expected to provide unprecedented capabilities in terms of service speed and flexibility for a satellite platform. The first two satellites will focus on the Americas and on Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively, with the third satellite planned for the APAC region, completing Viasat’s global service coverage. Each ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to deliver more than 1-Terabit per second of network capacity, and to leverage high levels of flexibility to dynamically direct capacity to where customers are located.
Atlas V has launched 78 missions with 100 percent success including 17 successful commercial missions. The workhorse rocket also delivered critical science missions for NASA such as Mars Science Lab, Pluto New Horizons and Mars InSight, and critical missions for the Department of Defense including Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) and Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS).
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.
With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the world’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered 129 satellites to orbit that provide Earth observation capabilities, enable global communications, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, and support life-saving technology.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include among others, statements about the relationship between Viasat and ULA; launch or in-orbit date; the ViaSat-3 class satellite for APAC, which has yet to be ordered; and the performance, capabilities and anticipated benefits of the ViaSat-3 class satellite platform, expected capacity, service, speeds, coverage, flexibility and other features of the ViaSat-3 constellation. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the ViaSat-3 satellite platform, unexpected expenses or delays related to the satellite system, the ability to successfully implement Viasat’s business plan for broadband satellite services on Viasat’s anticipated timeline or at all, including with respect to the ViaSat-3 satellite platform; and risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of ViaSat-3 and Viasat’s other satellites, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in satellite performance. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.