SSL has announced that the EchoStar XXI satellite, designed and built for EchoStar Corporation, has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where it will be launched aboard a Proton Breeze M vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS). The satellite will be used for mobile voice and data communications services in Europe.
“EchoStar and SSL have worked together for two decades,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “Over that time we have established a long history of teamwork and trust. Our partnership on EchoStar XXI is a reflection of this successful relationship, which has resulted in a very advanced and complex satellite now ready for launch.”
EchoStar XXI is an S-band satellite for next-generation Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) that will be located at 10.25° East longitude. It features a large unfurlable reflector that will deploy like an umbrella after the satellite is in orbit. Based on the SSL 1300 platform, the satellite is designed to provide service for 15 years or more.
EchoStar subsidiary EchoStar Mobile Limited will utilise a portion of EchoStar XXI’s capacity to provide mobile satellite services (MSS) capacity throughout the European Union. EchoStar Mobile is an EU-wide licensee for an integrated mobile satellite service network with a complementary ground component.
“SSL has been a key manufacturing partner for many years, and continues to support our fleet expansion,” said Anders Johnson, executive director of EchoStar Mobile and president of EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C. “We are pleased that EchoStar XXI is now at launch base and look forward to next month’s launch.”
SSL has built more than a dozen satellites for EchoStar and its affiliates, including EchoStar XVIII, which successfully launched in June. In addition to EchoStar XXI, there are currently two other SSL-built satellites for EchoStar in preparation for launch between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017.