The successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy space launch vehicle (SLV) on 6 February, 2018, is a major milestone in spaceflight and space exploration.
It is also a green light for the launch of the Arabsat-6A communications satellite in the coming months aboard a Falcon Heavy SLV.
“Arabsat-6A positioned at Arabsat’s 30.5°East orbital position. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin USA this satellite will support Arabsat competitive position and sustain it as the first satellite operator in the MEA region for satellite capacities and State-of-the-art satellite services,” according to the Arabsat website.
Arabsat signed the contract for ARABSAT-6A with U.S. satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin in April 2015. The satellite has been built at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver, Colorado, and will have an expected operational lifetime of fifteen years.
ARABSAT-6A is based on the successful Lockheed Martin A2100 bus, a mainstay of the company’s communication satellite business.
According to Gunter’s Space Page:
“The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band payload configurations, high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum, and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band and S-band payloads. The A2100’s modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.”