Mission typeCommunication
COSPAR ID2017-029A
SATCAT no.42740Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass14,110 lb (6,400 kg)[1]
BOL mass6,418 kg
Start of mission
Launch dateJune 1, 2017
RocketAriane 5
Deployment dateJune 1, 2017
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude69.9° West

ViaSat-2 is a commercial communications satellite launched June 1, 2017 and went live late February 2018. It was advertised to be the world's highest capacity communications satellite with a throughput of 300 Gbit/s, succeeding HughesNet EchoStar XIX launched in December 2016.[2] It is the second Ka-band satellite launched by ViaSat after ViaSat-1. The satellite provides internet service through ViaSat (Exede prior to rebranding) to North America, parts of South America, including Mexico and the Caribbean, and to air and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.[1]


In May 2013, ViaSat gave the construction contract of the satellite to Boeing.[3] On May 1, 2014 ViaSat sold capacity on the satellite to Xplornet Communications.[4][5] In January 2015, ViaSat gave the launch contract to SpaceX in an uncontested auction.[6] After SpaceX CRS-7 exploded after launch in June 2015, concerns arose that the investigation may affect the mission's launch window.[7][8] On February 9, 2016 Arianespace announced it had won contracts to launch ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 in 2017 and 2019, respectively.[9]

ViaSat-2 was launched on June 1, 2017 by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.[10][11] The launch date was originally set for April 25, 2017 but was delayed due to social unrest affecting the spaceport area.[12][13] ViaSat-2 successfully arrived in geostationary orbit at 69.9 degrees west longitude on December 5, 2017. The satellite employed a hybrid propulsion approach, using both traditional chemical as well as electric propulsion. The chemical propulsion subsystem was responsible for initial orbit raising and performing according to plan, setting the state for the follow-on ascent to geostationary orbit using electric propulsion, which was completed the last week of November 2017. Viasat spacecraft partner, Boeing Satellite Systems International, controlled and monitored ViaSat-2 throughout the orbit raising process, flying the satellite from its Mission Control Center in El Segundo, California.[14]


The $600 million satellite was intended to have a 300 Gbit/s throughput, up from ViaSat-1's 140 Gbit/s in 2011.[2] It uses Ka-band frequencies.[15]

Problems with two of the four Ka-band antennae, leading to a less optimal coverage pattern than designed [16] have reduced throughput to 260Gbit/s [17]

See also


  1. ^ a b Baumgartner, Jeff (June 2, 2017). "ViaSat 2 Launches With Big Broadband Potential". Multichannel News. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Joe Anselmo and Lee Ann Shay (Apr 26, 2017). "Meet The World's Most Advanced Telecom Satellite". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  3. ^ "ViaSat Announces Next Generation Broadband Satellite" (Press release). ViaCom. May 16, 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Xplornet Acquires Canadian Capacity on ViaSat-2 Satellite". May 1, 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. ^ Henry, Caleb (October 2, 2014). "Xplornet Charts Path to 100 Mbps Broadband Speed Using HTS". Satellite Today. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  6. ^ Selding, Peter (November 14, 2014). "ViaSat-2 Launch Contract Goes to SpaceX as Arianespace Sits out Competition". Space News. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Falcon 9 failure deals blow to inflight high-speed Internet schemes". Runway Girl Network. June 28, 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  8. ^ Davenport, Christian (June 28, 2015). "SpaceX's rocket just exploded. Here's why that's such a big deal". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Arianespace to Launch Two ViaSat High Capacity Satellites" (Press release). Arianespace. February 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "ViaSat Confirms the ViaSat-2 Satellite is Scheduled to Launch on June 1, 2017". PR Newswire. Retrieved 30 Apr 2017.
  11. ^ "Bon Chance! Arianespace Celebrates Launch of ViaSat-2 and EUTELSAT 172B". Satnews. Retrieved 1 Jun 2017.
  12. ^ "ViaSat's results mixed for quarter; sets April 25 launch for latest satellite". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 16 Mar 2017.
  13. ^ "ViaSat's satellite launch delayed due to civil unrest in French Guiana". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 24 Apr 2017.
  14. ^ "ViaSat-2 Receives and Transmits First Data from Space". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 5 Dec 2017.
  15. ^ Selding, Peter (17 May 2013). "ViaSat-2's 'First of its Kind' Design Will Enable Broad Geographic Reach". Space News. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  16. ^ de Selding, Peter. "ViaSat's Mark Dankberg: Cause of defect on two ViaSat-2 antennas remains a mystery".
  17. ^ Henry, Caleb. "Viasat preps big insurance claim for ViaSat-2 antenna anomaly".