Further to its launch by Proton on 18 August 2008, the third Airbus Defence and Space-built Inmarsat-4 satellite took four apogee engine firings to reach geosynchronous orbit. Following full deployment of its 45m solar array and 80m² antenna reflector the spacecraft adopted its final Earth-pointing control mode.
London, Toulouse, 9 September 2008 – Further to its launch by Proton on 18 August 2008, the third Airbus Defence and Space-built Inmarsat-4 satellite took four apogee engine firings to reach geosynchronous orbit. Following full deployment of its 45m solar array and 80m² antenna reflector the spacecraft adopted its final Earth-pointing control mode.
All of the Eurostar E3000 spacecraft’s systems are operating nominally. The payload, which includes an innovative digital processor, has been switched on and will be fully tested before the satellite is moved to its operational position at 98°W and enters commercial service.
François Auque, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, stressed that "Inmarsat-4 is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated communications satellites ever built, demonstrating Airbus Defence and Space’s ability to construct advanced and highly flexible payloads ".
Launched in 2005, the first satellites cover 85 per cent of the world’s landmass and 98 per cent of the world’s population – including Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and part of the Pacific Ocean. The third Inmarsat-4 satellite will complete the constellation and allow Inmarsat to achieve global coverage by positioning the Inmarsat-4 fleet accordingly. The three satellites are identical and interchangeable – their coverage is programmable and can be reconfigured in orbit.
The Inmarsat-4 satellites were built to support Inmarsat's global mobile broadband services, which deliver unprecedented voice and broadband data connectivity, at speeds of up to half-a-megabit per second, to mobile users on land, at sea and in the air.
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.
AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR) Phone: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Phone: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872
Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Phone: +49 (0) 7545 89123
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Phone: +34 91 586 37 41