Hughes Network Systems has confirmed that the Jupiter 3 satellite has successfully deployed its solar arrays and antennas and has passed readiness testing by manufacturer Maxar Space Systems. The satellite, which was launched by SpaceX in July, is now undergoing testing of its satellite communications with ground equipment. It is expected to enter commercial service in December, according to parent company EchoStar’s recent financial update.
The Jupiter 3 satellite will significantly increase broadband capacity across North and South America, offering more than 500 Gbps. This will support various services, including HughesNet satellite internet plans, in-flight Wi-Fi for airline passengers, enterprise networking, and cellular backhaul for mobile network operators. In fact, Hughes recently announced a deal with Delta Air Lines to provide in-flight internet connectivity to 400 regional jets.
With a launch mass of 9 metric tons and 14 expansive solar panels, the Jupiter 3 satellite is the largest commercial satellite ever built. When fully deployed, its solar panels can span the equivalent of a 10-story building. Its capacity expansion will provide ubiquitous connectivity throughout the Americas, enabling customers who do not have access to cable or fiber internet to connect to the digital world.
Maxar Space Systems CEO, Chris Johnson, highlighted that the Jupiter 3 satellite demonstrates the capabilities of the Maxar 1300 platform, which can support a variety of high-bandwidth communications missions. In addition to commercial applications, this platform is also suited for deep space missions such as NASA’s PPE program.
Maxar has recently divided its spacecraft manufacturing and Earth imagery businesses into two separate entities.