Inmarsat has successfully launched its second Inmarsat-5 satellite (F2) which will expand its Global Xpress coverage, following the launch of the F1 satellite last year.
The new Boeing-built satellite was launched aboard a Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday, at 12:31 GMT precisely. The confirmation of a successful spacecraft separation came through at 4:02 this morning – the satellite will now be guided into its geostationary orbit, a process which should be finished in March, with the first testing of the F2 to begin in April.
Inmarsat’s Global Xpress service boasts satellite broadband speeds one hundred times faster than the company’s previous generation of I-4 satellites, and the F2 satellite will deliver coverage to the Americas and Atlantic Ocean (F1 covered EMEA and Asia). All this is part of a $1.6 billion (£1.06 billion) program of investment in high-speed satellite broadband by Inmarsat.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “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.”