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Inmarsat-4 Blasts Off from Sea Launch.


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Odyssey Launch Platform.
Zenit-3SL blasting off from the Odyssey Launch Platform. Image credit: Boeing.

After yesterday's launch delay, a Zenit-3SL rocket blasted off from Sea Launch's Odyssey Launch Platform carrying the Inmarsat-4 satellite into orbit. Inmarsat-4, one of the heaviest communications satellites ever launched, will provide high-speed mobile communications to customers in the Americas. Early data indicates that the satellite is in excellent condition.

Sea Launch Company today successfully delivered the Inmarsat-4 (I-4) communications satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Early data indicate the spacecraft is in excellent condition.

A Zenit-3SL vehicle lifted off at 6:07 am PT (14:07 GMT), from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned at 154 degrees West Longitude. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight. The Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the 5,958 kg (13,108 lb.) satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position of 53 degrees West Longitude. A ground station at Lake Cowichan, in British Columbia, acquired the first signal from the satellite less than 25 minutes after spacecraft separation, as planned.

Inmarsat-4 is designed to provide high-speed mobile service to people throughout the Americas during its 13-year service life. It is one in a series of satellites designed to support the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) for high-speed delivery of Internet and intranet content and solutions, video-on-demand, videoconferencing, fax, e-mail, phone and LAN access. One of a family of three similar spacecraft, this Inmarsat-4 F2 satellite carries a single global beam that covers up to a third of the Earth's surface, 19 wide spot beams and 228 narrow spot beams. It has a total end-of-life power of 13kW.

Following acquisition of the spacecraft’s signal, Jim Maser, president and general manager of Sea Launch, congratulated Inmarsat and EADS Astrium. "We have marked several milestones in this mission such as our first mission for Inmarsat and our first European-built spacecraft, and our successful mission is the most significant milestone of all! Our customer is satisfied that we have met all of their requirements,” Maser said. "Once again, we have done what we said we would do. We look forward to future missions with Inmarsat as well as with EADS Astrium. I want to thank every member of the Sea Launch team for making this mission success possible.”

Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and Chief Executive of Inmarsat plc (LSE:ISAT), said, "We thank the team at Sea Launch for this innovative and highly professional launch. Years of preparation have come together. With the launch of our second I-4 satellite, we look forward to offering up to half megabit internet connection covering up to 90% of the Earth’s land mass – truly Broadband for a mobile planet.”

Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is the world’s most reliable heavy-lift commercial launch service. This international partnership offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the reliable Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. For additional information and images of this successfully completed mission, visit the Sea Launch website at: www.sea-launch.com




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