Intelsat has ordered a small communications satellite for regional use in the geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) arc. The satellite operator placed a construction order with 3D printing specialist Swissto12 for Intelsat 45 (IS-45), a small satellite, to be based on the firm’s HummingSat bus one cubic metre volume design. The satellite itself is not fully 3D printed but elements aboard it are. Aimed at the regional broadcast market, the Intelsat 45 spacecraft will carry a payload of 12 Ku-band transponders. The satellite, scheduled to launch in 2025, will be Swissto12’s first full satellite construction.
In a separate development, SpaceNews has reported that Telesat is purchasing an undisclosed satellite in orbit to cover for the imminently retiring Telesat Anik F-2 at its 111.1 degrees West GEO location. The planned retirement has been accelerated by a fault with its XIPS thrusters, which resulted in them experiencing higher than expected propellant usage.
Correction: This story originally suggested that the Intelsat 45 satellite would be completely 3D printed. This is incorrect, although elements of the spacecraft will be 3D printed. We apologise for this error.