Spain’s Hispasat launches its most advanced satellite from US
Cape Canaveral, United States, Feb 6 (EFE).- Spanish operator Hispasat on Monday launched into Space the Amazonas Nexus, its most advanced satellite, which will bring internet to passenger flights that cross the Atlantic and Greenland’s most remote regions.
The launch, postponed a day due to weather conditions, occurred aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from American company SpaceX, from its facilities in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Nexus will occupy a fixed position over Brazil, giving it a wide coverage area that will include the north and South Atlantic corridors, the entire American continent and Greenland.
This allowed Hispasat to reach an agreement prior to the launch with in-flight internet company Gogo – now part of Intelsat – which will give passengers on transatlantic flights the possibility of talking on video calls or watching television during their trips.
This focus on mobility, both air and sea, distinguishes the Amazonas Nexus from other company satellites, more focused on broadcasting audiovisual content.
“For the thousands of ships that move between Europe and America, for the thousands and thousands of planes that connect us every day… it is evident that the satellite is a great instrument to provide quality internet,” Hispasat President Jordi Hereu told EFE.
He said this is a very important segment that is growing, and that the company can now add to its product portfolio.
In addition to the project to offer internet on planes, Hispasat has already reached two other agreements: one with the national communications company of Greenland and another with the communications company Artel, which is working on a US Space Force plan to improve satellite connections.
With these three programs, Hispasat launches the Nexus with 60 percent of its capacity already committed.
The agreement with Greenland will allow the most remote towns in the north and east of the region, where fiber optics cannot reach, to connect to the internet, and will also help provide corporate services to mining companies in the area.
Bringing the internet to remote regions will serve to “advance digital rights that are not guaranteed to the entire population because they depend a lot on technology,” Redeia group President Beatriz Corredor said.
“I believe that after the pandemic we are all sure that connectivity is essential,” she said.
Hereu said the Amazon Nexus would allow digital connectivity to reach regions, especially in areas of Latin America, where other technologies are still unable to reach.
“I always say the satellite is the great antidote to the digital divide,” he said, adding that with this achievement, Spain is taking a “leap forward” in the space race.
The project, whose construction and development was carried out by French company Thales Alenia Space, has required an investment of close to EUR 300 million, although it will still take a few months to begin operating.
This is because the Nexus’ electric drive – an industry first – makes it slower than its chemically powered predecessors, which could reach position in a few days.
The decision to opt for this type of propulsion, however, has allowed Hispasat to make better use of the space on the satellite, since it does not need to carry fuel, which makes it lighter. EFE