SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched a communications satellite for Inmarsat using its Falcon 9 rocket. The Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite was launched at 7.21 PM (2321 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
With the flight of the Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite, SpaceX has marked its first ever launch for the London-based mobile broadband company. Boeing has built the Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite.
“We’ve had confirmation of spacecraft separation,” said a SpaceX commentator about 30 minutes after launch.
He confirmed that the Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite was successfully deployed to a distant, geostationary orbit. “We’ve had good orbits, good separation, all you can ask for today.”
The Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite is the fourth baby in the company’s Global Xpress (GX) constellation. With these, the company aims at providing high-speed mobile broadband service.
“Inmarsat, the only operator of a global Ka-band network, created the GX platform to enable communities across the world to benefit from the emerging digital society,” said a company statement.
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The Elon Musk-headed SpaceX did not attempt to bring the first stage of the rocket back to Earth for an upright landing following the launch.
The payload weighed some 6,100 kilograms, and the force needed to propel it to orbit would not leave enough fuel for the rocket to maneuver back to Earth.
(With inputs from PTI)