Press Release

High Performance Broadband Satellite for Australia Begins Post-Launch Maneuvers According to Plan

By SpaceRef Editor
October 1, 2015
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Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that a very advanced satellite designed and built for nbn, Australia’s new broadband network was launched yesterday and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. The high capacity broadband satellite deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It will begin firing its main thruster tomorrow morning in order to propel it toward its final geosynchronous orbit.

The satellite, known as Sky Muster, is an all Ka-band, high-throughput broadband satellite that uses multiple spot beams in an advanced design that tailors capacity to Australia’s widely distributed population. It is designed to provide service to hundreds of thousands of Australians who do not otherwise have access to high speed internet and will supplement the fixed line and fixed wireless services provided by nbn.

“I would like to congratulate nbn on the launch of their first satellite for broadband in Australia,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “It has been a pleasure to work together with the nbn team to provide a satellite that will extend the availability of internet service to remote areas.”

Originally called NBN Co 1A, the satellite was renamed “Sky Muster” by the six-year-old winner of a country-wide contest. It is the first of two satellites that SSL is providing for nbn. The two satellites will work in conjunction with one another to deliver fast broadband throughout Australia, and its coastal islands and external territories including Norfolk Island, Cocos Island, Christmas Island, and Macquarie Island in the Antarctic.

“SSL has proven itself as a reliable and innovative partner in developing the space segment for Australia’s broadband network, said Greg Adcock, chief operating officer of nbn. “Sky Muster will offer access to distance education, telehealth, video-conferencing, as well as other essential services to homes and businesses in rural and remote Australia where fast broadband service is currently unavailable.”

Sky Muster is based on the highly reliable SSL 1300 platform, which has the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances. Sky Muster is the 100th SSL 1300 satellite that SSL has delivered, providing tangible evidence of the platform’s evolution to accommodate payload advances. The satellite is designed to provide service for 15 years or more. With this launch, there are 81 SSL-built GEO satellites currently on orbit.

About nbn

nbn was established in 2009 to implement the Australian Government’s policy initiative to design, build, and operate Australia’s broadband network to provide access to high speed broadband to all Australian premises. nbn is a wholly-owned Commonwealth company that has been prescribed as a Government Business Enterprise (GBE) and is represented by “Shareholder Ministers” — the Minister for Communications and Arts and the Minister of Finance. The organization’s goal is to deliver Australia’s first national wholesale-only, open access broadband network to all Australians, regardless of where they live. For more information, visit:

About SSL

SSL, a subsidiary of MDA, is a leading provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for more than 50 years, SSL’s advanced product line also includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and automation solutions for remote operations. For more information, visit

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.

MDA’s business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.

MDA’s established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 11 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.’s (MDA) common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “MDA.”

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SpaceRef staff editor.