Maxar says last year’s unnamed GEO order is new Intelsat satellite

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WASHINGTON — Maxar Technologies says the geostationary satellite order it disclosed in November without naming the customer is a high-throughput Intelsat spacecraft that will also carry a pollution sensor for NASA.

Intelsat announced Feb. 3 that it had selected Maxar to build Intelsat-40e, a satellite that will provide high-throughput coverage of North America and Central America. 

Intelsat-40e will also carry NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) hosted payload under a NASA contract with Maxar.

Maxar spokesperson Omar Mahmoud said Intelsat-40e is the previously unnamed geostationary satellite order

Maxar said it will build the new Intelsat-40e satellite using its 1300-class platform. The satellite is expected to launch in 2022. 

Intelsat spokesperson Meghan Macdonald said Intelsat-40e is an expansion of the company’s fleet and not a replacement for Intelsat-29e, a three-year-old satellite that failed in April

In an email, Macdonald said Intelsat-40e will have Ku- and Ka-band capacity, roughly eight kilowatts of power and will weigh around six metric tons at launch. 

NASA, using the Air Force’s Hosted Payload Solutions contract vehicle, tasked Maxar with installing the Ball Aerospace-built TEMPO payload on a geostationary satellite. 

TEMPO will use a spectrometer to conduct hourly, daytime measurements of trace gases, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and aerosols, across North America.