SpaceX Starship chosen to launch Sky Perfect JSAT satellite in 2024

by | Aug 19, 2022 | Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

While others have launch options, Japanese satellite operator Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation has become the first to formally select SpaceX’s Starship/Super Heavy rocket – often just called Starship – to launch its Superbird-9 satellite. The launch to geosynchronous transfer orbit is planned for 2024.

SKY Perfect JSAT has a fleet of 18 satellites, 10 of which they operate and own. Courtesy: SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.

Superbird-9 is a digitally reconfigurable, dual Ku- and Ka-band GEO satellite which will be used to provide coverage over Japan and East Asia. The satellite has been developed in response to growing demand for mobility and broadband services, according to SKY Perfect JSAT. The operator hopes it will be operational by 2025.

“SKY Perfect JSAT and SpaceX will continue to work together ahead of the launch of Superbird-9 Satellite,” the fixed service satellite provider said in a statement.

SpaceX’s Starship is a fully reusable Super-Heavy-lift launch vehicle. Unlike Falcon 9, which reuses just its first stage, the rocket will be able to reuse both its Super-Heavy first stage and its Starship upper stage, which doubles as a spacecraft in its own right. Starship is being developed with the capability to carry humans and cargo to Mars and further. The Starship/Super Heavy’s maiden flight is due this year, earmarked for as early as September if full permission for the flight is granted by the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in time.

Starship SN9 apparently had an engine failure just before its crash landing. Courtesy: SpaceX

The Starship upper stage has been test flown successfully in the atmosphere and successfully landed, albeit with some spectacular failures.

David Todd contributed to this article.

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