The third Inmarsat-4 satellite, designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space, was successfully launched on 19th August (00:43 CEST), on a Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Successful separation of the spacecraft was confirmed at 09:46.
Three Inmarsat I-4 spacecraft have been built to support Inmarsat's mobile broadband services, delivering unprecedented voice and broadband data connectivity to users at sea, on land and in the air.
The third giant Inmarsat-4 satellite will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 98°West longitude, enabling Inmarsat to offer global broadband coverage – the two first satellites launched in 2005 are already in operation; all three satellites are identical and interchangeable, their coverage is programmable and can be reconfigured in orbit.
These highly innovative satellites are based on Airbus Defence and Space's Eurostar E3000 satellite platform, eleven of which have been operational since 2004. All three Inmarsat-4 satellites are equipped with a plasma propulsion system. Their 45m wide solar array generates more than 14 kW of electrical power and the spacecraft weighs nearly 6,000 kg at launch. The main body is 7 metres high and the unfurlable antenna reflector has a surface of about 80 square meters.
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.
Note to Editors: The launch on the Proton was managed by International Launch Services
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 8 9123
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP) Phone: +34 91 586 37 41