News Space News

Arabsat launches Badr-8 satellite onboard Falcon 9 rocket

It'll take four to five months for the satellite to reach its operational orbit.
Photo credit: Arabsat/Twitter

Arabsat has launched the Badr-8 broadcast and telecoms satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, after four days of delay due to thick cloud cover.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off the 4,500kg satellite lifted off from Florida and separated from the rocket in geosynchronous transfer orbit about 37 minutes later.

The communications satellite will provide television broadcast services, video relay, and data services across the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia.

Airbus Defence and Space built Badr-8 based on its Eurostar Neo platform.

The satellite will join the Badr network at Arabsat’s orbital position of 26 degrees east, providing a wide range of services for television broadcasting, satellite communications, and information exchange in C and Ku frequency bands.

Arabsat said its investment in the Badr-8 programme totals about $300m, including the spacecraft manufacturing contract with Airbus, the launch agreement with SpaceX, insurance, and ground infrastructure.

Eng. Alhamedi Alanezi, President and CEO, Arabsat, said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of Badr-8, which will provide advanced satellite services for our customers and partners in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and beyond. The launch of Badr-8 demonstrates our commitment to expanding our satellite capabilities and providing the latest cutting-edge satellite solutions to meet the growing demand for high-quality broadcasting and communications services in the region and around the world.”

As a seventh-generation satellite, Badr-8 is based on the Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit raising platform. The satellite features the Airbus-developed TELEO optical communications payload demonstrator. This payload will enable high-capacity analogue optical feeder link communications capability.

Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems, Airbus, added: “Marking our third successful launch of the Eurostar Neo series and our eighth spacecraft built for Arabsat, Badr-8, equipped with the very innovative TELEO payload, is the latest major milestone for our telecoms business. Featuring increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems, Badr-8 will replace and increase Arabsat’s capacity.”