The first Boeing Inmarsat-5 satellite has launched and sent signals from orbit, the initial step to establishing Global Xpress, the world’s first globally available high-speed mobile broadband service for government and commercial users.
“This launch is noteworthy for two reasons: It is the first in the Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 series of four high-power satellites, and our Boeing Commercial Satellite Services unit has been actively marketing its military and commercial Ka-band capacity to government users,” said Craig Cooning, chief executive officer of Boeing Satellite Systems International.
The spacecraft was launched on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 8 at 7:12 a.m. Eastern time. Controllers confirmed that the satellite was functioning as expected approximately 16 hours later. After reaching final orbit, it will complete several additional maneuvers and tests before officially beginning service for Inmarsat.
The Inmarsat-5 satellite series will provide comprehensive, global mobile broadband communications for vessels at sea, in-flight connectivity for airline passengers, and streaming high-resolution video, voice and data, among other services.
The satellite is an evolution of Boeing’s 702 product line. Inmarsat-5 F2 and F3 spacecraft are in production in El Segundo and scheduled for launch next year. Boeing recently received authorization to build a fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite.
Boeing Commercial Satellite Services has a distribution partnership with Inmarsat to provide L- and Ka-band payload capacity and managed services to key users within the U.S. government.