Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 (I-5 F4) launched with SpaceX on its two-stage Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 15 May at 19:21 EDT/00:21 BST.
Launch Complex 39A has an illustrious history dating back to the early days of the Apollo programme. It was from here that Apollo 11 took off in July 1969 to become the first manned mission to land on the Moon.
Following satellite separation at 19:53 EDT/00:53 BST, I-5 F4 came under the command of the Boeing and Inmarsat satellite operations teams based at the Boeing facility in El Segundo. The first signal was acquired from our Perth ground station at 20:04 EDT/01:04 BST.
I-5 F4 will now be manoeuvred to its geostationary orbit, 35,786km (22,236 miles) above Earth, where it will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors and undergo intensive payload testing by our Satellite Control Centre in London, before beginning commercial service.
Inmarsat was set up in 1979 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to enable ships to stay in constant touch with shore or to call for help in an emergency, no matter how far out to sea.
With a presence in more than 60 locations across every continent, our world-class products, services and solutions and 24/7/365 customer support facilities are available directly from Inmarsat, or – for the majority of customers – via our worldwide network of independent Distribution Partners (DPs) and Service Providers (SPs).
Today our customers are found in many different sectors – but they are typically businesses and organisations that need to communicate where terrestrial telecom networks are unreliable or simply cannot reach.
As well as merchant shipping, our customers include governments, airlines, the broadcast media, the oil and gas industry, mining, construction, and humanitarian aid agencies – to name just a few.
They connect to our fleet of 13 satellites using a range of equipment, including global handheld satellite phones and notebook-size broadband internet devices, as well as specialist terminals and antennas fitted to ships, aircraft and road vehicles.
Our business has grown strongly since 1999 when we became the first intergovernmental organisation to transform into a private company, later floating on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: ISAT.L) in 2005.
In fact, today Inmarsat plc is the market leader in the provision of mobile satellite services, with the largest portfolio of global satellite communications solutions and value-added services on the market.
Our global sales and marketing activities are operated through five market-facing business units:
Inmarsat Maritime, focusing on worldwide commercial maritime opportunities
Inmarsat U.S. Government, focusing on US government opportunities, both military and civil
Inmarsat Global Government, focusing on worldwide (i.e. non-US) civil and military government opportunities
Inmarsat Enterprise, focusing on worldwide enterprise, energy, media and M2M opportunities.
Inmarsat Aviation, focusing on in-flight voice, data, safety services and cabin connectivity, for both business and commercial air transport. – less