Inmarsat’s latest satellite, and the second of its new giant Global Xpress craft, was successfully launched on Sunday at 12.31pm (GMT) aboard a Russian Proton rocket. The craft’s correct name is Inmarsat-5 F2, and it will go to its final geostationary orbit over the next 7-8 weeks where it will be tested. It should come into use by the middle of the year.
GlobalXpress will eventually be a three-satellite global constellation. The first went ‘live’ in July last year, and will enhance Inmarsat’s high-speed Ka-band high-speed mobile broadband services. The first satellite is working over Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The latest satellite will eventually operate over the Americas, and the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Plans for the launch of Inmarsat’s third Global Xpress satellite continue, and it is scheduled for launch later this year, again on an ILS/Proton rocket and come into use early next year.