Friday, 09 December 2016 11:07

Inmarsat teams with Arianespace on next satellite launch

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Global mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat has inked an agreement with Arianespace to launch its S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network (EAN) on an Ariane 5 heavy lift launch vehicle.

The EAN payload is part of a "condosat" constructed by Thales Alenia Space, which incorporates a second payload for Hellas-Sat and is scheduled to be launched from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana in mid-2017.

The condosat was originally scheduled for launch with SpaceX but a delay in SpaceX’s launch schedule resulted in the condosat to be moved to an Arianespace launch.

Inmarsat will now launch Inmarsat-5 F4, a Global Xpress (GX) satellite, with SpaceX, with the launch planned for the first half of 2017. The company says it is looking forward to continuing to work with SpaceX.

“We are delighted with flexibility that Arianespace has shown in being able to provide a launch slot that enables us to place our European Aviation Network S-band satellite in orbit by mid-2017,” said Michele Franci, chief technology officer, Inmarsat.

"This launch schedule supports the introduction of our ground-breaking integrated satellite and air-to-ground network, developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, which will deliver a very high capacity broadband Wi-Fi experience for passengers flying throughout Europe.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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