Space Systems Loral (SSL) has announced that the BulgariaSat-1 satellite, designed and built for Bulgaria Sat, an affiliate of Bulsatcom, which is a leading telecommunications company and the largest provider of pay-TV services in Bulgaria, was launched on Friday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. The satellite deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard a previously flown SpaceX Falcon 9, and has started firing its main thruster to propel itself toward its final circular orbit in the geostationary arc.
“I would like to congratulate Bulgaria Sat on the successful launch of its first satellite, and for making history as the first Bulgarian company to operate a satellite,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “Thank you to the teams at Bulgaria Sat, SpaceX, and SSL, which worked closely together to make this launch a success.”
BulgariaSat-1 will provide high quality Direct-to-Home television and telecommunications services in the Balkans and other European regions. It is equipped with 30 Ku-band BSS transponders to broaden the availability of advanced television services such as high definition television. Once it goes into service, the satellite will be located at 1.9° East longitude.
“BulgariaSat-1 will expand our reach and reinforce our position as the leading provider of high quality direct-to-home TV services in Bulgaria,” said Maxim Zayakov, chief executive officer of Bulgaria Sat. “My thanks goes to SSL for being a supportive partner from the time that this satellite was just an idea until now. It is hugely exciting that we are finally launched and headed toward GEO orbit and we look forward to providing service that will broaden the availability of HDTV in the region.”
Based on the powerful SSL 1300 platform, the satellite is designed to provide service for 15 years or more. The satellite was the second commercial launch on a previously flown Falcon 9 rocket and helps to prove the value of launch vehicle reuse.