Posted on: 02 February 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Inmarsat Global (Inmarsat) has confirmed that the launch of its second Global Xpress (GX) satellite, Inmarsat-5 F2, was a success.
Inmarsat-5 F2 was on board an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M rocket launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 1 February. The satellite was correctly acquired by the Inmarsat (Paumalu) ground station at 18:10 GMT (1 February) and the Inmarsat-5 launch provider, ILS, confirmed a successful spacecraft separation at 04:02hrs GMT (2 February).
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, stated, “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.
“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. 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,” Pearce continued.
Over the coming weeks, the Inmarsat operations team will command the satellite to perform a series of manoeuvres to raise Inmarsat-5 F2 to a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit, while towards the end of the month, the satellite should complete deployment of its solar arrays and reflectors. This will be followed by an electrical orbit-raising phase (taking the spacecraft to its final geostationary orbit), scheduled to be completed by the end of March. Inmarsat hopes to begin payload testing at the beginning of April.