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Satellite Communications Technology


Arianespace to launch Inmarsat’s fifth Global Xpress satellite

(27 October 2017 - Arianespace) Arianespace and Inmarsat today announced the signature of the launch contract for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress-5 (GX-5) very high throughput communications satellite.

The satellite will be orbited by an Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (South America) during the second half of 2019.

A very high throughput satellite (V-HTS), GX-5 will offer services covering the Middle East, Europe and the Indian sub-continent.

The payload will be fully integrated into Inmarsat’s current GX high-speed network.

Inmarsat’s GX-5 satellite is based on Thales Alenia Space’s upgraded Spacebus 4000 B2 platform.

GX-5 features a design life of 16 years and will weigh about four metric tons at launch, with a payload rated at approximately 6.8 kW of electrical power.

Commenting on this latest contract, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “With this new launch contract, we are very proud to continue our partnership with Inmarsat that dates back to 1981. We are honored to have been selected for the 10th time by Inmarsat for the launch of the very high throughput satellite GX-5, only four months after we successfully launched the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN “ condosat ” with an Ariane 5. This renewed trust demonstrates the outstanding performance and reliability of our heavy-weight Ariane 5 launch vehicle, as well as its ability to respond to new broadband and in-flight connectivity demands today, even before the arrival of our new Ariane 6 heavy-lift launcher.”

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits.

It has orbited more than 550 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.

Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.