World’s first all-electric propulsion satellite begins operations


The world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite, built by Boeing for Bermuda-based ABS, is now operational after an on-orbit handover on August 31, 2015. The ABS-3A, a 702SP (small platform) satellite, expands ABS’s communications services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The ABS-3A spacecraft was the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite to be built and launched – part of a stacked pair launched in March 2015, with a 702SP satellite built for Eutelsat, based in Paris, France. The spacecraft’s all-electric xenon-ion propulsion system contains a sufficient quantity of the inert, non-hazardous element xenon to extend the satellite’s operations beyond the expected spacecraft design life of 15 years.

“With a successful launch, testing and execution of orbit operations, we were able to deliver the first 702SP to ABS about one month earlier than planned,” said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International.

Boeing is under contract to build a second 702SP satellite for ABS, designated ABS-2A, which will be delivered and launched early next year.

September 17, 2015

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