SpaceX to launch Intelsat-40e satellite

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WASHINGTON — Intelsat has selected SpaceX to launch the Intelsat-40e geostationary communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket in 2022. 

Intelsat-40e will be the second Intelsat satellite to launch on a SpaceX rocket, following the Intelsat-35e Falcon 9 mission in 2017. 

“We are honored Intelsat, one of the world’s premier satellite operators, has selected a flight-proven Falcon 9 to deliver its next geostationary communications satellite to orbit,” Tom Ochinero, SpaceX vice president of commercial sales, said in a March 17 news release.

Maxar Technologies is building Intelsat-40e under a contract first announced in November and formalized in February. The satellite will also carry NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) hosted payload under a NASA contract with Maxar.

Intelsat-40e will provide connectivity in Ku- and Ka-band over North America, supporting customers in government, in-flight connectivity and enterprise businesses, according to Intelsat. The satellite is a partial replacement for Intelsat-29e, which abruptly failed in orbit after suffering a catastrophic fuel leak Intelsat believes was caused by a micrometeoroid impact or an ill-timed electrostatic discharge triggered by unfavorable solar weather.