Inmarsat announces the successful launch of its second Global Xpress (GX) satellite on board an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 1 February at 12:31 GMT.
The Inmarsat-5 F2 (I-5 F2) satellite was correctly acquired by the Inmarsat Paumalu ground station at 18:10 GMT on 1 February, and launch provider ILS confirmed a successful spacecraft separation at 04:02hrs GMT on 2 February.
Over the coming weeks, the Inmarsat operations team will command the satellite to perform a series of manoeuvres to raise I-5 F2 to a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit, and by the end of the month it will have completed deployment of its solar arrays and reflectors.
This will be followed by the electrical orbit-raising phase, taking the spacecraft to its final geostationary orbit, scheduled to be completed by the end of March, ready for the start of payload testing at the beginning of April.
“The successful launch of our second Inmarsat-5 satellite by Proton is a significant step forward on our journey to deliver the world’s first globally available, high speed mobile broadband service,” said Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat CEO.
“Our first GX satellite entered commercial service in July 2014 and has since been delivering an excellent service to our customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. With Inmarsat-5 F3 expected for launch by Proton in the coming months, we are on schedule to achieve full global coverage early in the second half of 2015.
“This is a great achievement and I would like to pay tribute to the skill and expertise of Inmarsat’s engineering teams and all our employees involved in the design, development, manufacturing, testing and launch. It is their dedication, alongside the outstanding support we have received from our manufacturing and launch partners – Boeing and ILS – which has helped deliver such a successful outcome.”
Built by Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc to a proven design (702HP), I-5 F2 is part of a US$1.6 billion investment by Inmarsat into Global Xpress – the next generation of global mobile broadband communications.
The fleet of high throughput satellites within the Global Xpress constellation will offer a unique combination of seamless global Ka-band coverage from a single operator, consistent higher performance, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned.