23 January 2015: Preparations for the launch of the second Global Xpress satellite, Inmarsat-5 F2 (I-5 F2), are now at an advanced stage at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The satellite has been successfully enclosed in the payload fairing which will protect it in the first minutes following lift-off – scheduled for 12:31 GMT on Sunday 1 February.
The fairing – which together with the encapsulated satellite comprises the ascent unit – plays a vital role by absorbing the acoustic roar from the Proton launch rocket engines and the high dynamic air pressure and transonic shock that will hit just one minute into the flight.
It also protects the spacecraft from the extreme weather conditions on the launch pad, where the overnight temperature can drop to -20°C.
The ascent unit will now be mated to the Proton M launch vehicle ahead of transportation from the final assembly building for fuelling and roll-out to the launch zone, Pad 39.
Once operational, I-5 F2 will deliver Global Xpress services to the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region, complementing Inmarsat-5 F1 coverage in the Indian Ocean Region. The third satellite in the constellation is scheduled for launch early in 2015, enabling the Global Xpress network to become globally available – expected early in the second half of this year.
Global Xpress introduces a new era in seamless, global, high-speed satellite broadband communications – all available from one trusted provider.
I-5 F2: the mission: www.inmarsat.com