Viasat, Inc. announced the second satellite in the upcoming Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission has completed thermal vacuum testing at Northrop Grumman's Dulles, VA, site: a significant milestone as the project looks to connect the Arctic region with high speed broadband in the second half of 2024. The mission, led by the Space Norway subsidiary Heosat, will see two satellites deployed in a highly ellipticalorbit (HEO) in the world's first HEO mission carrying a broadband commercial service payload. The two satellites - ASBM-1 and ASBM-2 - will host Viasat's GX-10a and GX-10b Ka-band payloads, extending Viasat's high-speed global network across the Arctic region.
The spacecraft are designed to integrate as part of Viasat's wider satellite fleet and extend the coverage of its Ka-band network beyond that available from geostationary satellites. The payloads will be Viasat's first in non-geostationary orbit and will become a key element of its co-operative hybrid network. Once launched, these new payloads will increase Viasat's fleet size to 20, with an additional eight under development.
The Arctic has rapidly growing connectivity needs to serve governments, shipping companies, commercial airlines, and scientists. In October 2023, the UK Government's Environmental Audit Committee called for a greater political focus on the region and further research into the potential for environmental and economic impacts of changing weather patterns. Alongside GX10a and b, the spacecraft will host payloads for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the US Space Force.
With offices in 24 countries around the world, mission shapes how consumers, businesses, governments and organizations around the world communicate and connect. Viasat is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, reliable, secure, affordable, fast connections to positively impact people's lives anywhere they are--on the ground, in the air or at sea, while building a sustainable future in space. On May 30, 2023, Viasat completed its acquisition of Inmarsat, combining the teams, technologies and resources of the two companies to create a new global communications partner.