Boeing-Built SES Satellites Send, Receive First Signals

After an approximate 6-hour coast and burn phase, the Centaur upper stage delivered the satellites to a near-GEO orbit.

Ses Medres
Boeing

Two newly launched Boeing-built satellites are sending and receiving signals as they continue their journey to their orbital destinations. The satellites will enable SES, a provider of content connectivity solutions provider, to continue delivering C-band broadcast and radio services as well as critical network communications to the United States.

The pair of all-electric propulsion 702SP (small platform) satellites, SES-20 and SES-21, launched at 5:36 p.m. EDT yesterday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station atop a ULA Atlas V rocket. After an approximate 6-hour coast and burn phase, the Centaur upper stage delivered the satellites to a near-GEO orbit. The satellites are currently orbit-raising to their test locations using electric propulsion en route to their final orbital operating slots at 103 degrees West and 131 degrees West, respectively. 

โ€œOur unique dual-launch configuration was again successful on this mission,โ€ said Ryan Reid, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International. โ€œThat coupled with the ULA Atlas Vโ€™s ability to achieve an advantageous orbit enables SES to get these satellites into service in a matter of weeks. We appreciate the faith SES has put in our industry team to make that happen.โ€

Following on-orbit checkouts, SES-20 and SES-21 are expected to begin operations in November. The satellites are part of SES's accelerated C-band clearing plan to meet the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's objectives to roll out 5G services across the United States, an initiative that impacts all mobile users.

โ€œThe successful launch of SES-20 and SES-21 will allow us to support our customers in delivering high-quality sports and entertainment to tens of millions of U.S. households while delivering on our promise to repurpose spectrum to enable U.S. leadership in 5G,โ€ said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. โ€œThe second phase of our U.S. C-band clearing activities is fully on track and we are grateful for the hard work of our partners at Boeing and ULA.โ€

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