A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will carry a pair of satellites into orbit Tuesday to help better mobile phone services.
Built in ULA’s Decatur facility, the Atlas V rocket will launch the SES-20 and SES-21 satellites for SES of Luxembourg, a worldwide telecommunications network provider. Once separated, the satellites use on-board propulsion systems to circularize their orbits at 22,300 miles above the equator.
The satellites will usher in the Federal Communications Commission’s 5G Fast initiative, requiring satellite operators to clear from the lower 300 MHz to the upper 200 MHz of C-band spectrum to make way for 5G mobile services.
Liftoff will be 4:36 p.m. CST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
SES-20 and SES-21 are all-electric small platform satellites that will operate over the continental United States.
The mission will allow SES to continue delivering C-band broadcast and radio services as well as data network services. Built by Boeing, the two spacecraft provide customers the ability to expand, extend or even change a satellite’s coverage area and mission throughout its life.
The ULA hardware is coupled with next-generation technology, which will enable two satellites to launch on a single rocket.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL