The UK-based global satellite provider launched its latest satellite — 5 F4 (I-5 F4) — on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
Inmarsat says its own launch team and a team from Boeing Network & Space Systems, the manufacturer of the satellite, are now raising the spacecraft to a geostationary orbit, at which point the satellite will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo payload testing.
The newly-launched joins three GX satellites already in orbit, which Inmarsat says have, since December 2015, been delivering “unprecedented service speeds, global coverage, reliability and security to users on land, at sea and in the air”.
“For Inmarsat, reliability and resilience are paramount,” said chief executive Rupert Pearce.
“Delivering global commercial services over the GX network, which we achieved at the end of 2015, was only the start of our Global Xpress project. I-5 F4 augments the capabilities of GX and, alongside our existing L-band constellations, enables Inmarsat to provide guaranteed global connectivity to industries and governments worldwide.
According to Pearce, Global Xpress sets a new standard of excellence for broadband communications in established VSAT markets, such the maritime and government sectors, “while also rapidly gaining strong traction in new market areas, such as the rapidly expanding aviation passenger connectivity sector”.