Inmarsat has confirmed the successful launch of its first Global Xpress (GX) satellite (Inmarsat-5 F1) on board a Proton Breeze M rocket launched in Kazakhstan on December 8th.
Over the coming two weeks, the Inmarsat controllers will command the satellite to perform seven chemical burns to raise Inmarsat-5 F1 to a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit, while just after Christmas, the satellite 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. This is scheduled to be completed by the end of January, ready for the start of payload testing at the beginning of February.
Built by Boeing Satellite Systems International to a proven design (702HP), Inmarsat-5 F1 is part of a $1.6 billion investment by Inmarsat into the next generation of global mobile broadband communications. This investment includes a fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite ordered from Boeing in October 2013.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “The successful launch of this first Inmarsat-5 satellite is a major landmark on our journey to deliver the world’s first globally available, high speed mobile broadband service. We are on schedule to achieve full global coverage by the end of 2014.