ViaSat-1 Launch Scheduled For Mid-October Following Proton-M Configuration Issue
Carlsbad, Calif. – ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has announced that the launch of the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite, previously set for the end of September, is now scheduled for mid-October. The delay is due to the launch failure of the Russian Federal Mission with the Express AM4 communication satellite that occurred on August 18.
Immediately after the failure of the Russian Federal Proton mission with the Express AM4 satellite, the Russian Inter-Agency Commission conducted a formal investigation into the cause of the failure. The Inter-Agency Commission identified the cause of the Express AM4 failure as a configuration error in the flight control software of the Proton Breeze-M upper stage. Following that investigation, Roscosmos lifted the ban on Proton/Breeze M launch processing during the last week of August and appropriate recommendations have been prepared for implementation on upcoming launches. The final clearance to launch ViaSat-1 is expected to be issued next week, following review of the investigation conclusions by a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) to be conducted September 8 and 9 by International Launch Services (ILS) with ViaSat participation.
Construction and testing of the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite at Space Systems/Loral is complete and the spacecraft is being prepared for a September 13 shipment from SS/L to the ILS launch base at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
ViaSat-1 is designed to transform the economics and quality of service that satellite broadband can provide, with the capacity to serve the accelerating growth in bandwidth demand for multimedia Internet access over the next decade and enable satellite to compete with terrestrial alternatives. The high-capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite has planned coverage over North America and Hawaii, enabling a variety of new, high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the U.S. and Xplornet in Canada. With a capacity estimated at 150 Gbps, ViaSat-1 will become the highest capacity satellite in the world once it is safely on orbit. For more information visit www.viasat.com/viasat-1-launch.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, specifically statements about the future launch date of ViaSat-1. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to: satellite failures, performance degradation, in-orbit risks and anomalies, launch delays, and launch failures or improper orbital placement of ViaSat-1 or satellites owned by other operators that are scheduled for launch by ILS before ViaSat-1. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in ViaSat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including ViaSat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. ViaSat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.