Falcon Heavy with ViaSat-3
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy with ViaSat-3 blasts off from Florida. Courtesy of ViaSat

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on Sunday successfully launched the first of three new high-capacity communications satellites for Carlsbad-based Viasat.

ViaSat-3 Americas will be the first of three satellites to make up an ultra-high-capacity constellation, designed to provide high-quality, affordable internet connectivity and coverage.

The launch from Cape Canaveral came at 5:26 p.m. Pacific time after several days of delays due to weather and technical issues.

ViaSat-3 is one of the largest communications satellites ever launched. It is equipped with huge solar panels generating 25 kilowatts of power and stretching 144 feet from tip to tip.

The first satellite in the series will serve North and South America; the second Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the third Asia and the Pacific.

“The ViaSat-3 constellation will give us global capability,” said Craig Miller, president of Viasat’s government services segment. “That additional capacity gives us all kinds of leverage to grow the business and provide even better services on the commercial side, and the military and defense side as well,.”

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.