Inmarsat has confirmed the successful launch of the fourth, high-speed broadband communications satellite in its transformational Global Xpress (GX) constellation.
I-5 F4 will have huge implications for maritime communications as it joins the three GX satellites already in orbit, which have, since December 2015, been delivering unprecedented service speeds, global coverage, reliability and security to users on land, at sea and in the air.
The fourth satellite adds further capacity to the GX network, as well as in-orbit redundancy that further upgrades the reliability and resilience of Inmarsat’s service offerings.
I-5 F4 was launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 rocket at 00:21 (BST) / 19:21 (ET) from the historic launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Following satellite separation at 00:53 (BST) / 19:53 ET, Inmarsat acquired telemetry from its Perth ground station at 01:04 BST / 20:04 ET.
The launch team from Inmarsat and Boeing Network & Space Systems, the manufacturer of I-5 F4, are now raising the spacecraft to a geostationary orbit, at which point the satellite will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo payload testing.
Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat, said: “For Inmarsat, reliability and resilience are paramount.
“Delivering global commercial services over the GX network, which we achieved at the end of 2015, was only the start of our Global Xpress project.
“I-5 F4 augments the capabilities of GX and, alongside our existing L-band constellations, enables Inmarsat to provide guaranteed global connectivity to industries and governments worldwide.”
Inmarsat recently signed a five-year contract with Hapag-Lloyd to migrate all ships to a new ‘connected ship’ satellite system directly managed by the shipping line to services enabled for Fleet Xpress.