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Airbus-built Inmarsat 2 F2 Satellite Breaks World Record for Mission Lifespan

By | December 22, 2014
      Inmarsat 2 F2 Airbus Eurostar

      Artist’s rendition of Inmarsat 2 F2. Photo: Airbus Defence and Space

      [Via Satellite 12-22-2014] The Inmarsat 2 F2 satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space was decommissioned this week after 23.5 years of performance in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). Lasting more than two decades, the satellite took the world record for longevity from a previous Airbus Defence and Space satellite, Inmarsat 2 F1, which operated in orbit for 22.5 years. Both spacecraft were based on the early Eurostar satellite bus and had expected lifespans of 10 years.

      Airbus Defence and Space has 59 Eurostar satellites launched to date. According to the company, none have ever been lost in orbit. The 16 retired Eurostar satellites have exceeded their expected lifespan by 39 percent on average. A total of 43 are still in service, and Airbus has 12 satellites based on the latest generation, the Eurostar E3000, under construction today. Of the 12, five use electric propulsion and nine support high throughput payloads.