The ViaSat-1 story seems to be orbiting its way toward a happy ending in time for Christmas. The world’s highest capacity telecommunications satellite sent down its first words on December 2nd: sadly it didn’t chime a romantic “Mommy!” but a somber collection of high-bandwidth video streams, emails and websites. It’ll continue back-and-forth testing, probably sending back pictures of red firetrucks until mid-December, which is when the company will assume “full control” (handed over from Space Systems / Loral) of the orbiting router and begin prepping commercial service before the end of the year. At which point, it’ll be available to cover the US, Canada and Hawaii with KA-Band broadband service with partners WildBlue, Xplornet and JetBlue domestic flights.
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