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SES Rethinks GEO Model

Peter B. de Selding, Space Intel Report:

Here’s the profile of tomorrow’s geostationary-orbit satellite for SES:

It weighs around 2,000 kilograms, is delivered on orbit 18 months after contract signature — which means a 14-month procurement if it takes an all-electric design four months from launch to reach its operating station.

It is launched in stacked formation with two or three other satellites aboard the same rocket and is designed to operate for just seven or eight years. Halliwell said he could envision a per-satellite capital investment of around $55 million, assuming a $50 million or $60 million launch cost, divided by three, and a sub-$50-million cost for the manufacture of the spacecraft.

Really interesting stuff from SES, who is always looking to push the industry forward. The current era of GEO is coming to a close, and this sounds like the structure of the next.