ILS Proton Successfully Launches Inmarsat-5 F3 Satellite

An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze M successfully placed the Inmarsat-5 F3 (I-5 F3) satellite into a super-synchronous transfer orbit (SSTO) today. The spacecraft was launched for Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. I-5 F3 is the third of Inmarsat’s next-generation Global Xpress satellites, which launched on an ILS Proton. This marks the third Proton launch of the year and the 5th SSTO mission for ILS, a leader in providing launch services to the global commercial satellite industry.

The Proton launch vehicle, carrying the I-5 F3 satellite, lifted off from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome yesterday at 17:44 local time (12:44, London time, 11:44 GMT and 07:44 ET). The SSTO mission utilized a 5-burn Breeze M mission design to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a 65,000 km-apogee super-synchronous transfer orbit. After a 15-hour, 31-minute mission, the satellite was placed into the target orbit by the Proton launcher. SSTO missions provide increased heavy-lift performance over GTO mission designs, allowing our customers the capability to maximize spacecraft operational lifetime.

The satellite was manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems International and built on the reliable 702HP platform. Weighing over 6 metric tons at lift-off, the I-5 F3 satellite has 89 Ka-band fixed beams and 6 steerable ones. I-5 F3 is designed to generate approximately 15 kilowatts of power at the start of service and approximately 13.8 kilowatts at the end of its 15-year design life. To generate such high power, the spacecraft's two solar wings employ five panels of ultra-triple-junction solar cells.

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Global Xpress will be the first globally available high-speed mobile broadband network, delivered through a single provider.  It will offer the unique combination of global coverage, consistent high-speed performance, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned. GX services will be deployed to serve the advanced mobility needs of Inmarsat’s existing customers on land, at sea and in the air, will diversify Inmarsat’s business into existing adjacent government and energy markets, and position Inmarsat in the vanguard of new, high-growth military-Ka,  aviation passenger, maritime and other connectivity markets.

ILS President Phil Slack stated, “It is always exciting to launch a satellite for one of our customers and to play a key role in the deployment of its services. As the launch provider for Inmarsat’s first three Global Xpress satellites, it has been extremely rewarding to know that we have helped to enable Inmarsat’s innovative technology.  Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network delivers broadband connectivity to the remotest regions of the world, as well as critical worldwide communications services on land, at sea or in the air. The collective teams at Inmarsat, ILS, Khrunichev and Boeing are to be commended for their dedication to the successful launch of Inmarsat-5 F3.”

“The launch of the third Global Xpress satellite is a pivotal moment in Inmarsat’s history. Global Xpress will delivery broadband speeds an order of magnitude faster than our 4th generation (I-4) constellation, allowing us to offer our current customers new high value services and solutions and to grow our business activities into exciting new markets. This is truly a new era in mobile satellite communications,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat. “We sincerely thank our dedicated staff and our partners at Inmarsat, Boeing, ILS and Khrunichev for ensuring mission success.”

The I-5 F3 launch marked the 405th launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965 and the 90th ILS Proton Launch overall. This was also the 19th Boeing-built satellite launched on an ILS Proton and the 5th Inmarsat satellite launched on Proton overall. The Proton M Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia’s premier space industry manufacturer and majority shareholder in ILS.

Source: International Launch Services
Date: Aug 29, 2015