Inmarsat’s Latest Satellite Takes Flight From

Inmarsat has launched its newest I-6 F2 spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

According to the mobile satellite communications specialist, which provides communications services in the air, sea and land, the I-6 F2 took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the satellite launch and reached a top speed of nearly 40,000 km/h when it left Earth over Central Africa.

The satellite will now spend several months traveling into its geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the equator with its onboard electric propulsion system. It is planned to connect the first customers in 2024 after technical tests in orbit.

The I-6 F2, which Inmarsat has called the “world’s most advanced satellite,” follows its “twin,” the I-6 F1, which was launched from Japan in late 2021.

“They are the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever made and will provide a revolutionary upgrade to Inmarsat’s global coverage services for at least the next 15 years. I-6 F1 is scheduled to connect its first customers later this year,” Inmarsat said.

According to the company, the new I-6 satellites add additional capabilities to Inmarsat’s ORCHESTRA communications network “that will redefine connectivity at scale with the world’s highest capacity for mobility.”

“ORCHESTRA empowers Inmarsat’s partners and customers to keep pace with their growing data demands and enables them to empower future technologies such as autonomous vehicles or flying taxis,” said Inmarsat.

“The launch was watched live by Scouts Simon Shemetilo from London and Craig Alexander from Reading who had a VIP experience at the event. The pair were chosen by astronaut Tim Peake after scouts from across the UK took part in a competition hosted by Inmarsat and the association. Simon and Craig were voted the top entries on how satellites can improve life on Earth in the future,” the company added.

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Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our dedicated employees and partners who have made this launch possible. Our I-6 program has been in the making for six years. The launch last week was another milestone as we revolutionize global communications at scale.”

“Of course it’s not the end. Along with the I-6, we will add five more advanced spacecraft to our fleet through 2025 as part of our fully funded technology roadmap. This will enable us to meet the needs of our customers into the 2030s and beyond, while enabling new technologies for a smarter, more connected earth.”


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