11 November 2013: The first Inmarsat-5 satellite (I-5 F1) is scheduled for launch in early December.
The spacecraft has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan from where it will be launched into space on board a Proton rocket.
I-5 F1 is the first satellite in the constellation which will power Inmarsat’s new Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) network, offering high-speed mobile and fixed broadband services around the world at speeds of up to 50Mbps.
Built by Boeing’s space division in El Segundo, California, the giant 7-metre tall Inmarsat-5 spacecraft was packed into its shipping container and transported under police escort to Los Angeles airport on 8 November.
The satellite was then loaded on to a Russian Antonov cargo aircraft and flown to Baikonur, 2,100 km (1,300 miles) south-east of Moscow.
“This is an exciting day for Inmarsat and all our partners, the beginning of the long journey that will open the GX adventure” said Leo Mondale, Managing Director of Growth Management and Support at Inmarsat.
“Global Xpress is the result of three years of planning. To see the first of our satellites transported from California to Kazakhstan highlights that the network will soon be a reality.
“For end-users on land, at sea and in the air, Global Xpress will mark a step-change in their ability to access high-speed broadband services, regardless of where they happen to be.”
The GX fleet is currently expected to achieve full global coverage by the end of 2014.
Inmarsat GX: www.inmarsat.com