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Atlas V 531 - SES-20 & 21 - Canaveral SLC-41 - October 4, 2022 (21:36 UTC)

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Chris Bergin:
 SES-20 and 21


SES Selects United Launch Alliance to Launch Two C-Band Satellites to accelerate C-Band clearing
U.S.-based United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket will launch satellites into orbit as part of SES’s contribution to facilitate 5G across America

 

Luxembourg, 5 August 2020 – SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions, has selected U.S.-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch two C-band satellites. This launch is part of the company’s accelerated C-band clearing plan to meet the Federal Communications Commission’s objectives to roll out 5G services in the United States. ULA’s Atlas V rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida in 2022 and carry the two stacked satellites.

 

Earlier this year, SES contracted with American companies Northrop Grumman and the Boeing Company to deliver four C-band satellites. These satellites will enable SES to clear 280MHz of mid-band spectrum for 5G use while seamlessly migrating SES’s existing C-band customers and ensuring the continued delivery of digital television to nearly 120 million American TV homes and other critical data services. ULA will launch the two C-band satellites manufactured by Boeing.

 

SES is investing in America through its C-band transition plan and its work with large and small businesses across the country and its selection of Atlas V, an American launch vehicle launched from the American soil underlines that commitment.

 

“Clearing mid-band spectrum expeditiously while protecting cable neighborhoods across America is a huge undertaking and one that requires partners that can deliver mission success and schedule assurance,” said Steve Collar, CEO at SES. “We are thrilled to be working with ULA again and partnering to meet the FCC’s ambitious timeline for the accelerated clearing of C-band spectrum.”

 

“We are pleased SES selected ULA and our proven Atlas V for this important commercial launch service,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “Atlas V is known for its unmatched level of schedule certainty and reliability and this launch is critical to the timely clearing of C-band spectrum, empowering America’s accelerated implementation of 5G.  ULA’s legacy of performance, precision and mission design flexibility allow us to deliver a tailored launch service that minimizes orbit raising time and perfectly meet our customer’s requirements. We are thrilled to provide this optimized launch solution to SES for this crucial launch.”

Galactic Penguin SST:
I guess it will be either the Northrop Grumman GeoStar-3 pair - SES-18 & 19, or the Boeing 702SP (all electric thrusters) pair - SES-20 & 21, not a mixture of both?
 
These seems to be pretty small satellites not unlike the 2 pairs of AsiaSat/Eutelsat Boeing 702SP comsats launched on Falcon 9 several years ago, so maybe they will add up to only around 4.5 - 5 tonnes range total? A 401 might be enough for that.

Bean Kenobi:

--- Quote from: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/05/2020 02:06 pm ---I guess it will be either the Northrop Grumman GeoStar-3 pair - SES-18 & 19, or the Boeing 702SP (all electric thrusters) pair - SES-20 & 21, not a mixture of both?
 
These seems to be pretty small satellites not unlike the 2 pairs of AsiaSat/Eutelsat Boeing 702SP comsats launched on Falcon 9 several years ago, so maybe they will add up to only around 4.5 - 5 tonnes range total? A 401 might be enough for that.

--- End quote ---

SES press release about SpaceX contract says that SpaceX will launch Northrop Grumman satellites (SES 18 and SES 19), so ULA will launch Boeing satellites (SES 20 and SES 21).

https://www.ses.com/press-release/ses-selects-spacex-launch-new-c-band-satellites

" SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch two C-band satellites built by Northrop Grumman "


EDIT : and press release in 1st post says " ULA will launch the two C-band satellites manufactured by Boeing. "

Phillipsturtles:

--- Quote from: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/05/2020 02:06 pm ---I guess it will be either the Northrop Grumman GeoStar-3 pair - SES-18 & 19, or the Boeing 702SP (all electric thrusters) pair - SES-20 & 21, not a mixture of both?
 
These seems to be pretty small satellites not unlike the 2 pairs of AsiaSat/Eutelsat Boeing 702SP comsats launched on Falcon 9 several years ago, so maybe they will add up to only around 4.5 - 5 tonnes range total? A 401 might be enough for that.

--- End quote ---

Based off what Tory said about getting the satellites closer to their final orbit, I'm going to guess they'll fly on a 541 or 551 and do a direct GEO (or close to) trajectory.

arachnitect:
I was hoping we'd finally see ULA's DSS (SYLDA equivalent), but I assume these satellites are self-stacking.

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