ViaSat-3 Americas satellite in space faces issues

Viasat said it has faced some unexpected issues during the deployment of its ViaSat-3 Americas satellite in space which may affect the performance of the satellite.
Viasat booth at a trade eventViasat said an unexpected event occurred during reflector deployment. Viasat did not reveal the name of its reflector provider.

“We’re working with the reflector’s manufacturer to try to resolve the issue,” Mark Dankberg, Chairman and CEO, Viasat, said.

The ViaSat-3 Americas, designed to provide broadband connectivity in the Americas region, was launched onboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket on April 30.

Viasat in May acquired British satellite rival Inmarsat for $7.3 billion, and the merged entity has at least 19 satellites in space.

Other Viasat and Inmarsat satellites were not affected, according to Viasat.

Viasat said plans are being refined to minimize the economic effect to the company. Options include redeploying satellites from Viasat’s  fleet to optimize global coverage, and / or reallocating a subsequent ViaSat-3 class satellite to provide additional Americas bandwidth. The initial service priority for ViaSat-3 Americas has been to facilitate growth in the company’s North American fixed broadband business.

Viasat said there is no disruption to customers from this event, and no impact to coverage or capacity of the Viasat and Inmarsat constellations currently in service.

Following the Inmarsat acquisition, Viasat has 12 Ka-band satellites in space, excluding ViaSat-3, with eight additional Ka-band satellites under construction.

The company said it will share additional information on the status of the ViaSat-3 Americas satellite and contingency plans during its earnings call on Aug. 9.