SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Eutelsat 10B Satellite - Magzinenow

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Eutelsat 10B Satellite

Eutelsat 10B will beam communications signals across a vast coverage zone from the North Atlantic to Asia. This will help keep air and sea travelers connected.

Eutelsat chose an expendable booster for the Eutelsat 10B mission, as the company paid a premium for extra performance from the Falcon 9 rocket and a proper orbit injection. It is the second expendable Falcon launch in a row and the third Falcon launch to use an expendable booster this month.


Eutelsat 10B is a 12,000-pound European broadband communications satellite designed to beam internet signals to airplanes and ships. It will expand Eutelsat’s coverage of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and Africa.

The Eutelsat 10B satellite was built by French-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space for the Paris, France-based satellite operator. It will provide high-throughput capacity to the company’s growing in-flight and maritime broadband markets, Eutelsat said Tuesday.

Based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus NEO platform, Eutelsat 10B will deliver 35 gigabits per second of capacity across its two multi-beam high-throughput satellite (HTS) payloads. These payloads feature 116 spot beams and offer more than 50 GHz of bandwidth, the satellite operator said.

Firm multi-year capacity commitments are already in place with several leading in-flight connectivity service providers, representing more than a third of the Eutelsat 10B’s HTS capacity. The high-throughput payloads on the Eutelsat 10B satellite are based on a fifth-generation digital processor, which Thales Alenia Space says is “integrated at the heart of the payload” and achieves “high flexibility performance and efficiency in throughput and bandwidth.” It will help meet increasing demand for internet connectivity by airline and maritime customers.

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First Stage

Eutelsat 10B is a new satellite built by Thales Alenia Space that will provide broadband internet services to airplanes and ships flying across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the North Atlantic. It will add capacity to Eutelsat’s existing 10-degree East slot that currently carries the company’s Eutelsat 10A satellite.

Developed by French-Italian aerospace firm Thales Alenia Space, Eutelsat 10B will be armed with two high-throughput Ku-band payloads that are able to process more than 50 GHz of bandwidth and deliver data throughput of about 35 gigabits per second. The primary HTS payload is devoted to the North Atlantic corridor, while the secondary payload will cover Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East to support air traffic.

The first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Launches fired nine Merlin 1D engines to inject the satellite into an elliptical super-synchronous transfer orbit and then deployed it from the booster’s payload fairing. Once in orbit, Eutelsat 10B will use its on-board propulsion system to circularize itself at geostationary altitude 22,000 miles above Earth.

Second Stage

SpaceX launched Eutelsat 10B on Tuesday night (November 22) from Cape Canaveral. The company’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 9:57 p.m. EDT (02:57 UTC).

A tan-colored second stage fired to place the satellite into supersynchronous geostationary orbit (GEO). The spacecraft carries two high-throughput payloads that provide aviation and maritime services in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the North Atlantic corridor.

Once in orbit, the satellite will add capacity for internet connectivity for airplanes and ships, said Eutelsat, Paris, France-based owner and operator. The mission is part of an effort by the company to grow its presence in the growing broadband market.

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In addition to its reusable first stage, the Falcon 9 Block 5 features a pair of dissimilar reusable fairing halves. The active half faces away from the transport erector and houses pneumatics to separate the fairing in flight, while the passive half is a reversible design and relies on those same pneumatics for separation when it’s time to deorbit.


The Eutelsat 10B satellite is an all-electric, geostationary communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space to provide high-throughput services (HTS) for in-flight and maritime connectivity across Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Middle East, Africa and Atlantic Ocean. It will replace Eutelsat’s aging 10-degree East-positioned Eutelsat 10A, which is due to reach its end of life in 2023.

Based on the Spacebus Neo platform, Eutelsat 10B features two multi-beam high-throughput Ku-band payloads able to deliver 35 gigabits per second of throughput. It will provide internet connectivity for passengers aboard planes and ships in a growing number of fast-growing markets.

Launching from Cape Canaveral, the Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Tuesday night, with the Eutelsat 10B satellite deploying into a super synchronous geostationary transfer orbit that shortens the time it takes for it to reach its final operational geostationary position. The mission marked the tenth Geostationary Satellite Program (GSP) payload to be launched by SpaceX this year. It followed launches of two communications satellites for Egypt, a pair of Hotbird TV broadcasting satellites and a Galaxy payload for SES earlier this fall.

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Dario Smith