Sky Perfect JSat of Japan’s Superbird-9 spacecraft will be launched by Starship. Another user of SpaceX’s enormous Starship rocket has signed up.
The Japanese company Sky Perfect JSat announced Thursday that it will use Starship to launch its Superbird-9 communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit in 2024. (Aug. 18). The agreement’s terms weren’t made public.
The business thinks that its next-generation transportation technology, called Starship, will make big exploration projects like Mars colonization economically achievable.
The spacecraft is made up of a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) upper stage spacecraft dubbed Starship and a massive first-stage booster called Super Heavy.
Due to the fact that each of these components will be propelled by SpaceX’s Raptor engine, they are both intended to be totally and quickly reusable.
Super Heavy will carry a massive 33 Raptors, while Starship will have six. (For context, the Falcon 9 rocket, a workhorse for SpaceX, has 10 Merlin engines—nine in the first stage and one in the second.)
SpaceX is aiming to change the fact that Starship hasn’t yet completed any space trips.
The business is getting ready for the first Starship orbital test flight, which might launch from SpaceX’s South Texas site in the coming months.
Sky Perfect JSat joins a select group of clients who are unafraid of Starship’s novelty.
For instance, NASA chose Starship to be the first crewed lunar lander for its Artemis program of moon exploration, while Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has scheduled a trip around the moon for himself and a small group of guests.
The moon mission by Maezawa is slated to take place in 2023. The Artemis 3 mission, which NASA hopes to fly in 2025 or 2026, will be the first to employ Starship to send astronauts to the moon.
In contrast, Superbird-9 is a versatile, high-throughput satellite that “will deliver broadcast and internet missions in Ku band in response to mobility and broadband demands, especially over Japan and Eastern Asia,” Sky Perfect JSat representatives said in a statement on Thursday (opens in new tab)