Posted on: 11 November 2013 by Mark Howells
Inmarsat has revealed that the first of its Global Xpress satellites, Inmarsat-5 F1, has begun its journey from California to the launch location in Kazakhstan.
The 6,100Kg spacecraft departed from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) aboard an Antonov AN-124 heavy transporter and is scheduled to arrive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, approximately 2,100 km (1,300 miles) southeast of Moscow, on Monday 11th November.
The spacecraft was constructed at Boeing’s El Segundo facility in California and is the first of three Global Xpress satellites scheduled to be launched on behalf of Inmarsat by International Launch Services (ILS). Inmarsat-5 F1 is scheduled for launch in December by a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle.
“The imminent launch of the first satellite brings the introduction of GX Aviation much closer,” said Miranda Mills, Inmarsat President, Aviation. “We have our network of Distribution Partners in place and we know from our conversations with airlines and VIP operators that there is strong demand for high bandwidth in-flight connectivity.”
The Global Xpress network will power GX Aviation, claimed to be the world’s first global Ka-band high-speed satellite network specifically designed for mobile assets, with aircraft a target market. GX Aviation will offer a combination of global coverage from a single operator with performance for aviation use of up to 49Mbps.