Peering Over the Horizon, WildBlue Co-Founder Tom Moore Sees Opportunities Beyond Launch of ViaSat-1 Satellite

12/8/10Follow @bvbigelow

The countdown hasn’t started just yet, but in five months, Carlsbad, CA-based ViaSat (NASDAQ: VSAT) will be launching its first satellite, ViaSat-1, aboard a Proton rocket from the Baikonour Cosmodrome, the Russian space launch facility in Kazakhstan.

“We’re done with the really tough testing, where you put the satellite in a thermal vacuum chamber and cycle through extreme temperatures,” says Tom Moore, a ViaSat senior vice president and CEO of WildBlue Communications who heads the company’s ViaSat-1 satellite initiative. “Now we’re just going through the last stages of testing and processing before shipping to the launch facility.”

Tom Moore

Tom Moore

Getting the satellite into a geo-stationary orbit centered 22,300 miles above the United States will be the crucial final maneuver in a plan that began in 2007, when ViaSat decided to build a satellite for Internet service—”the highest capacity satellite ever built by an order of magnitude.” But a successful ViaSat 1 launch would also represent a personal triumph for Moore. He has travelled full circle in returning to WildBlue Communications, the satellite-based Internet service provider in Denver, CO, that he co-founded in 1998—and which ViaSat acquired at this time last year in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $568 million.

As ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg explained to me at the beginning of the year, ViaSat realized that acquiring WildBlue solved a … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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