This year is shaping up to be a banner year for satellite launches, with several large satellite operators launching satellites that represent the result of years of planning and investment. We look ahead to the most important satellite launches in 2022.
SES — O3b mPOWER
In 2022, SES plans to deploy two batches of its next O3b mPOWER constellation. SES confirmed that the first batch of three satellites will launch during the first quarter of the year 2022, and the second set of three satellites will launch in the second quarter of 2022. With those six satellites, the O3b mPOWER constellation will go live by the end of the year.
SES chose SpaceX, a long-time launch partner, to carry out the missions, which will be launched on Falcon 9 rockets from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Boeing is using the 702X bus to build the whole constellation of 11 O3b mPOWER satellites.
Viasat — ViaSat-3
ViaSat-3 is set to launch in the first part of 2022, according to Viasat. It will be the first of a trio of Ka-band satellites put into Geostationary Orbit (GEO), and it will have the biggest capacity of any single satellite.
The ViaSat-3 constellation was announced by Viasat in 2015 as a huge increase in on-orbit capacity. Each satellite is expected to have a capacity of 1 terabit per second, allowing customers to connect at speeds of 100 megabits per second. The first satellite will cover the Americas and adjacent waters, the second is going to cover the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, and the third is going to cover Asia-Pacific. The payload was developed by Viasat, and the bus module, centered on Boeing’s 702 architecture, is being integrated by Boeing Satellite Systems.
Maxar — WorldView Legion
With the launch of the first 2 WorldView Legion spacecraft in 2022, Maxar Technologies anticipates a significant boost in Earth imagery capability. The business announced on December 15 that it had scheduled a launch window with SpaceX for the first 2 WorldView Legion satellites from May 15, 2022, to June 13, 2022.
Maxar intends to launch six WorldView Legion satellites in the first phase. Maxar will revisit rates up to 15 times each day for monitoring missions when combined with its four existing satellites. Every day, the WorldView Legion satellites will acquire imagery covering nearly 700,000 square kilometers — almost the size of Texas — with a resolution of 30 cm.
Eutelsat — KONNECT and 10B
With the introduction of KONNECT VHTS in the first half of 2022, Eutelsat continues its transformation into a satellite fixed broadband provider. KONNECT VHTS is the successor to KONNECT, which began service in 2020 and covers a portion of Europe and Africa. In terms of mobility, broadband, and government services, KONNECT VHTS will span Europe.
The satellite, which was built by Thales Alenia Space, was supposed to launch in 2021 but was delayed. The launch will take place in the first half of 2022.