Posted on: 02 September 2015 by Mark Howells
Inmarsat has established that the launch of its third and final Global Xpress (GX) satellite, Inmarsat-5 F3 (I-5 F3), has been successful.
I-5 F3 entered orbit at 04.15 (BST) on 29 August following a 15 hour and 31 minute mission after being launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12.44pm (BST) on 28 August.
Over the coming weeks, the Inmarsat operations team will raise I-5 F3 to its final orbit, deploy its solar arrays and reflectors and undertake payload testing. At the end of these procedures, I-5 F3 will be ready to join the first two GX satellites which are already in orbit and operating successfully, to create a globally available high-speed mobile broadband network delivered by a single operator.
“We have been working towards this day ever since we announced plans to create the Global Xpress constellation in 2010,” exclaimed Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat. “I am delighted that we now have three Global Xpress satellites in orbit, enabling us to provide global GX services by the end of the year. This is a significant milestone for Inmarsat; one that will offer major growth opportunities and promises to change the face of our industry.
“Global Xpress will deliver broadband speeds that are an order of magnitude faster than our fourth generation (I-4) constellation, to customers on the move on land, at sea and in the air, globally. As such, the GX fleet will offer a host of new opportunities for both our existing and new customers to significantly enhance their connectivity capabilities and to deploy bandwidth-hungry applications and solutions efficiently and effectively, even in the remotest and most inaccessible parts of the world. Global Xpress is, therefore, an important enabler for continued growth in global mobile broadband – it is the ‘Internet of Everywhere’.
“I would like to thank our dedicated team of engineers for their outstanding work in making Global Xpress a reality in just five years. It is an amazing achievement to design, manufacture and successfully launch three advanced communication satellites in such a short time. I would also like to extend my thanks to our satellite manufacturing partner Boeing and our launch partners ILS and Khrunichev for delivering a successful outcome today.”
The first Global Xpress satellite – Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched in December 2013 and entered commercial service covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia in July 2014. This was followed by the launch of Inmarsat-5 F2 on 1st February 2015, which covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean and entered commercial service in August, 2015.