EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The MEXSAT Bicentenario satellite, built by Boeing partner Orbital Sciences Corporation, has completed on-orbit testing and has been accepted by the customer, the first step to establishing a space-based communications network that will markedly improve Mexico’s satellite communications capabilities.
The Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Secretary of Communications and Transportation) of Mexico, through Telecomunicaciones de Mexico (Telecomm), became responsible for operating the satellite today following a successful launch in December and completion of functionality testing. Bicentanario is the first of three satellites within the MEXSAT system, which will enhance communications for domestic, military, civil and humanitarian needs.
“Deployment of the first satellite means that enhanced services, ranging from disaster relief to rural education to government agency operations, will soon be available throughout Mexico,” said Christopher Richmond, Orbital senior vice president of Communications Satellite Programs.
Orbital produced Bicentenario under a subcontract agreement with Boeing, the MEXSAT program prime contractor. The hybrid C-band and Ku-band communications satellite is based on Orbital’s flight-proven GEOStar-2 platform. Boeing is building the remaining spacecraft, two 702HP geomobile satellites, for launches scheduled in 2013 and 2014.
“The Boeing satellites are progressing on schedule,” said Craig Cooning, chief executive officer of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “We look forward to the completion of the first Boeing 702 geomobile satellite – Centenario – at the end of this year, and to completing the entire MEXSAT system in 2014.”
Boeing is integrating the MEXSAT network, which includes two ground telemetry and control sites, associated operations systems and reference user terminals in addition to the three satellites. For Bicentenario, Orbital is also providing command and control ground equipment, software, and training and operational documentation.