SES announced Thursday it has tapped SpaceX for two additional Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral to deliver more Boeing-built O3b mPower broadband satellites into orbit, adding to a pair of Falcon 9 flights ordered by SES last year to launch the first batch of mPower platforms beginning in late 2021.
An annual meeting of planetary scientists near Houston has been canceled due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, and NASA has instructed its 1,200 employees at a field center in California to work from home until further notice after a worker there tested positive for the illness. But a major satellite industry conference in Washington is going ahead as planned this week.
The launch of a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana with four more satellites Thursday to join SES’s O3b broadband network will help satisfy growing bandwidth demands in Latin America, Africa and the Pacific islands until the deployment of a new generation of upgraded spacecraft in 2021, SES officials said.
Russian ground crews working in starkly different environments on the barren steppes of Kazakhstan and in the lush jungles of South America are readying a pair of Soyuz rockets for two launches Thursday, one to resupply the International Space Station, and another to broaden the capacity of SES’s O3b Internet network.