GX5 satellite on way to launch site

Inmarsat’s fifth Global Xpress satellite, GX5, has started on its journey from Nice, France to the Arianespace Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in preparation for launch, currently scheduled for Friday 22 November.

Inmarsat GX5 leaving the Thales Alenia Space facility in France

The Very High Throughput Satellite (V-HTS) is the most powerful GX satellite to date and will deliver twice the capacity of the entire existing GX fleet of four spacecraft combined. It will be carried into geostationary orbit on an Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher.

GX5, built by Thales Alenia Space, is designed to meet the surging demand for high-capacity broadband across the skies and seas of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The launch of GX5 will also mark the first stage in the transformation of Global Xpress, the world’s first and only, globally available, true broadband network.  Inmarsat is planning to launch a further seven GX payloads over the coming four years, including two payloads dedicated to the Arctic region.

The photographs show the satellite being transported by road from Thales Alenia Space in Cannes to Nice airport, and being loaded onto an Antonov 124-100 aircraft for a day long journey to the Arianespace launch facility.

Follow the GX5 launch mission here.

GX5 loaded onto the cargo aircraft