Milestone Achieved! SpaceX to Launch Astranis’s First Commercial Satellite Into Orbit As Early As Next Year

John Gedmark
Aug 26 · 2 min read

Four years ago, my co-founder Ryan and I set out to get the next four billion people online by building the next generation of internet satellites from Geostationary orbit. Last year, we introduced ourselves to the world, announcing a Series A fundraising from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. This January, we announced our first mission: tripling the satellite internet capacity of Alaska by partnering with Pacific Dataport.

And today, we’re excited to announce that we’re even closer to achieving our mission: Astranis has signed with SpaceX to put the first of our ground-breaking geostationary satellites into orbit next year, dedicated to making an immediate impact on bridging the digital divide in Alaska.

We’ve reserved a ride on a SpaceX Falcon 9 with a launch window at Florida’s famed Cape Canaveral starting in the fourth quarter of 2020.

This means that Pacific Dataport and Microcom, our Alaska partners, will be able to provide residential and commercial Alaskan customers in even the most remote parts of the state with faster, more affordable and more reliable true broadband internet service by March 2021.

We’re excited about what this means for Alaska, one of the most rugged states in America, and by extension, one of the hardest to serve with broadband internet.

Service beamed from the skies is the best way to get large numbers of unconnected people online, since it requires no fiber internet backbone in what is often extremely difficult-to-reach terrain. Alaska is a perfect example of such a place.

But Microcom is Alaska’s largest satellite services provider, and is uniquely positioned to help bridge the connectivity gap there. Our satellite will bring Pacific Dataport’s customers over 7.5 Gbps of capacity, which will roughly triple the entire satellite capacity available in the state today while reducing costs by up to three times.

We hope the partnership will eventually expand to provide many more Gbps of dedicated bandwidth.

This is a big milestone for Astranis, and just the first of many for us, and for the millions of people in underserved areas whom we plan to help get connected in years to come. We look forward to sharing details on future launches when the time is right.

John Gedmark

Written by

Cofounder & CEO of Astranis. Your friendly neighborhood rocket scientist.

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