SpaceX set to launch JCSat-18 on December 16

JCSAT-16 launch (28969742675).jpg
File photo of a night-time Falcon 9 launch. This is JCSat-16, the previous JCSat satellite SpaceX launched. Credit: SpaceX

DEC. 11, 2019–A Falcon 9 rocket currently awaits vertical integration at SLC-40 with the JCSat-18/KACIFIC-1 satellite, ahead of planned liftoff at 7:10 pm EST on December 16.


The JCSat-18/Kacific 1 communications satellite arrived at Cape Canaveral AFS for pre-launch processing on November 14, 2019. Credit: Kacific

JCSat-18 arrived at Cape Canaveral for pre-processing on November 14, earlier this year. It is a joint communications satellite shared between Sky Perfect JSAT Corp. of Japan, and Kacific, a startup telecommunications company based in Singapore, built on a Boeing 702MP satellite bus.

By now, all testing on the spacecraft should be complete, and it should be fully fueled. Built in Boeing’s El Segundo satellite factory, the satellite will weigh 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) at launch.

Kacific calls themselves a “next generation broadband satellite operator”, committed to providing universal, fast, high quality broadband. Kacific 1 is their first satellite, which will stream high-speed, low-cost broadband to rural areas of the Pacific and South East Asia, using 56 powerful Ka-band spot beams. Kacific states that the throughput of the satellite should be 60 Gbps, with a 550 ms minimum latency. Individual users will have a maximum speed of 200Mbps using a VSAT.

Sky Perfect JSAT is a conglomerate formed after a merger with JSAT, SKY Perfect, and Space Communications Corp. in 2008. They are one of the largest operators of satellite TV in Japan, and operating the largest satellite telecom business in Asia. JCSat-18 is their 18th satellite, with the launch of their 17th still pending. The satellite will cover the Ku band for JCSat over Asia, the Pacific, and Russia.

JCSat-18 Ku-band spot beam coverage. Source: Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation.

JCSAT-18/Kacific 1 is targeting a geostationary orbit, though Falcon 9 will only take it to a transfer orbit. Launch is, again, scheduled for 7:10 pm EST on December 16, 2019. The window extends until 8:38 pm. The launch will take place from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, SpaceX’s secondary Falcon 9 pad.

This is Space Scout coverage of the JCSat-18 mission at T- 4 days, 18 hours. Stay tuned for more.

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