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VIDEO: Inmarsat's Latest Satellite Takes Flight from Cape Canaveral

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 23, 2023

Launch of Inmarsat's latest I-6 F2 spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station ©Inmarsat

Launch of Inmarsat's latest I-6 F2 spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station ©Inmarsat

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

According to the mobile satellite communications specialist, which offers communications services in the air, at sea, and on land, the satellite launch saw I-6 F2 lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, reaching a top speed of almost 40,000km/h as it left Earth above central Africa. 

The satellite will now spend several months traveling to its geostationary orbit, 36,000km above the Equator, using its onboard electric propulsion system. It is planned to connect its first customers in 2024, following in-orbit technical testing.  

The I-6 F2, which Inmarsat has dubbed the "world’s most advanced satellite," follows its ‘twin’, I-6 F1, which launched from Japan in late 2021. 

"They are the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever and will provide a revolutionary upgrade in 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 further capabilities to Inmarsat’s ORCHESTRA communications network "that will redefine connectivity at scale with the highest capacity for mobility worldwide."

"ORCHESTRA enables Inmarsat’s partners and customers to keep pace with their growing data demands and enables them to empower emerging technologies in the future, like autonomous vehicles or flying taxis," Inmarsat said.

"The launch was seen live by Scouts Simon Shemetilo, from London, and Craig Alexander, from Reading, who had a VIP viewing experience to the event. The two were chosen by Astronaut Tim Peake after Scouts from all over the UK entered a competition hosted by Inmarsat and the association. Simon and Craig were judged as submitting the best entries for how satellites can improve life on Earth in the future," the company added.

Rajeev Suri, CEO, Inmarsat, said: “I want to extend my profound thanks and appreciation to our dedicated employees and partners who have made this launch a reality. Our I-6 program has been six years in the making. Last week’s launch marked another milestone as we revolutionize global communications at scale.”

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

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