MENA satellite operator Arabsat has selected SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to launch its new satellite, 7A – the first Arabsat 7th generation satellite harboring the latest satellite technologies in terms of manufacturing, payload, efficiency of performance, and coverage flexibility.
This announcement marks the third time that Arabsat has selected SpaceX for launch: first in 2019 with Falcon Heavy’s launch of Arabsat and SpaceX will also launch Arabsat’s BADR-8 satellite on Falcon 9 next year.
Earlier this year, Arabsat, signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space to build 7A, a fully flexible Software-Defined Satellite (SDS) based on the Space Inspire (INstant SPace In-orbit REconfiguration) platform by Thales Alenia Space.
7A will join 6A and 5A at its data hotspot at 30.5E. It will replace the bulk of the existing C and Ku-band capacity on 5A as this satellite reaches end-of-life to ensure a seamless transition for customers and partners. It will also offer ample high-throughput Ku-band capacity to help the operator expand its services into several verticals to enhance its portfolio of products and solutions over the Middle East, Africa, and beyond, to parts of Europe, according to Badr Alsuwaidan, Arabsat’s chief tech officer.