Jupiter 3: A Giant Leap in Satellite Internet Technology

Revolutionizing Connectivity with High-Speed, Geostationary Satellite Access

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches Hughes Network Systems' Jupiter 3 satellite from Florida.
Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

SpaceX Launches Jupiter 3: A Giant Leap for Satellite Internet

After a brief two-day delay, SpaceX successfully launched the Jupiter 3 satellite for Hughes Network Systems on Friday night. The satellite aims to revolutionize space-based internet access with its advanced capabilities. Riding on a Falcon Heavy rocket, Jupiter 3 reached an impressive altitude of nearly 18,000 miles above Earth’s surface before entering orbit approximately three and a half hours after liftoff.

Huge Advancement in Satellite Technology

Maxar Technologies, the manufacturer, reported that the satellite performed flawlessly, activating its solar panels and establishing communication with Earth controllers. Jupiter 3, also known as EchoStar XXIV, stands as the largest commercial communications satellite ever constructed, according to Maxar.

Game-Changing Speeds

Upon its planned activation in the fourth quarter of 2023, Jupiter 3 is expected to deliver remarkable download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, a quadruple increase in Hughes’ current speeds. This leap in performance will cater to the data demands of an increasingly connected world. However, the exact pricing for the enhanced service remains undisclosed by Hughes.

Divergence in Satellite Strategies

In contrast to the prevailing satellite broadband trends pursued by companies like SpaceX’s Starlink, OneWeb, and Amazon’s Kuiper, which deploy constellations of smaller satellites in low Earth orbit, Jupiter 3 pursues a different approach. It stands as a solitary, massive nine-ton satellite, equivalent in size to a bus, designed to occupy a much higher geostationary orbit approximately 22,236 miles above the equator. This strategic placement allows for a stable, fixed position in the sky, enabling uninterrupted communication without the need to track numerous low Earth orbit satellites.

Connecting the Unreachable

While cable and fiber-optic broadband generally offer higher speeds and lower latency, satellite communications are crucial for connecting rural and remote areas beyond the reach of traditional network technologies. Mark Wymer, Hughes’ senior vice president of business development and strategy, emphasized how this technology could benefit those who have not experienced such services before.

Overcoming Engineering Challenges

SpaceX’s efforts in reducing launch costs have made space more accessible to both startups and established companies. However, satellite endeavors still pose significant engineering challenges. For example, a competitor of Hughes, Viasat, encountered complications with its ViaSat-3 satellite, demonstrating that innovation is essential in this domain.

High Capacity and Fusion Service

Jupiter 3 boasts an impressive total communication capacity of 500 gigabits per second. This capacity encompasses communication between customer terminals, the satellite itself, and the Hughes ground stations connected to the wider internet. Moreover, Hughes’ Fusion service showcases innovation by combining communications from OneWeb’s low Earth orbit satellites with either 4G mobile phone network technology or Hughes’ Jupiter geosynchronous satellites.

Satellite Broadband in Critical Situations

Satellite broadband proves invaluable during times of disaster or conflict, as it can provide instant connectivity in areas disrupted by war or natural calamities. For instance, SpaceX’s Starlink terminals have proven vital for Ukrainian forces facing the Russian invasion. Additionally, satellite links can serve as a backup when subsea internet cables, vital for global commerce and communications, are disrupted.

Supporting Communities

Hughes’ Jupiter satellites serve beyond individual customers, providing essential “backhaul” connections to remote cell towers lacking terrestrial connections and supporting community internet access points, particularly in South America.

In conclusion, the successful launch of Jupiter 3 represents a significant milestone in advancing satellite internet technology, with the potential to bring high-speed connectivity to previously underserved regions and play a crucial role in critical situations.


I am Jumanah, As a dedicated writer for this news website, I am fueled by a passion for crafting accurate, engaging, and informative content. With a keen eye for detail and a love for storytelling, I am committed to bringing important news and captivating stories to our valued readers. I prioritize journalistic integrity and stay constantly up-to-date with current events, ensuring that our audience receives reliable and compelling news articles that keep them informed and inspired. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

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