The first two Boeing-built O3b mPOWER satellites are sending and receiving signals as they continue their journey into medium Earth orbit (MEO) following their successful dual-configuration launch. Developed for service provider SES, the satellites lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on December 16 at 5:48 PM ET.
O3b mPOWER is SES’s second-generation MEO system designed to transform industries with terabit-level scale, roundtrip latency of less than 150 milliseconds, and unmatched service availability.
“Today’s launch marks the next milestone of our MEO journey. With O3b mPOWER, we are bringing game-changing technology to deliver a unique combination of high-throughput, guaranteed reliability and service flexibility that is the first in the industry,” said Steve Collar, CEO at SES. “O3b mPOWER is the satellite system of choice for applications where performance matters most.”
The O3b mPOWER ecosystem comprises an initial 11 satellites each equipped with more than 5,000 digitally formed beams. Coupled with an extensive ground infrastructure, the software-driven system enables SES to address current and future connectivity needs for governments, mobile network operators, energy companies, cruise lines and enterprises across the globe.
Boeing will oversee the satellites’ orbit raising and in-orbit testing before handover to SES in approximately five months.
“From concept to reality, the partnership with SES while developing the first-of-its-kind technology has been remarkable,” said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing Space and Launch. “The next few months will be another critical collaboration period as we prepare the next nine satellites for launch and enable these first satellites to fulfill their mission to connect people around the world.”
The O3b mPOWER satellite constellation will kick off commercial service in the third quarter of 2023.