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First Global Xpress Satellite Nears Launch

By Caleb Henry | November 11, 2013
Inmarsat Global Xpress Launch

Inmarsat 5 F1 onboard an Antonov AN-124 heavy transporter. Photo: Inmarsat

[Via Satellite 11-11-13] The first of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellites, Inmarsat 5 F1, has traveled from California to the launch site in Kazakhstan. The 6,100 kg spacecraft departed from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Saturday Nov. 9th aboard an Antonov AN-124 heavy transporter and is scheduled to arrive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, approximately 2,100 km (1,300 miles) southeast of Moscow, on Monday Nov. 11th.

The Global Xpress network will power GX Aviation, a global Ka-band high-speed satellite network specifically designed for mobile assets, with aircraft as a target market.

The spacecraft was constructed at Boeing’s El Segundo facility in California and is the first of three Global Xpress satellites scheduled to launch on behalf of Inmarsat by International Launch Services (ILS). Inmarsat 5 F1 is scheduled for launch in December by a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle.

The second satellite is in the final stages of construction and testing. It is scheduled for launch in the first half of next year, with the third being launched towards the end of 2014. GX Aviation is on schedule to be available for both commercial and VIP aircraft in 2015. In addition, Inmarsat has recently ordered a fourth I-5 satellite from Boeing.