Concerns over the increasing delays to the maiden launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy (Falcon 9 Heavy) has led to Viasat to move its Viasat 2 spacecraft from that flight to Arianespace’s Ariane 5 ECA launch. The first Falcon 9 Heavy with the Viasat 2 aboard had been due to fly “by September 2016”. Now that the Falcon Heavy flight is likely to take place in 2017, Viasat felt obliged to act given that its capacity in orbit on Viasat 1 was already under strain from customer demand.
The more certain Ariane 5 ECA launch will now take place in Q1 2017. While the cost of this launch change has not been revealed (Viasat is believed to have originallyl got a very good deal given that the Falcon Heavy launch was a maiden flight) Viasat reports that the price has not changed dramatically due to a subsequent good deal with Arianespace.