Alphasat takes its place in flight payload stack

Inmarsat’s Alphasat satellite has taken its place in the payload stack ready for launch on an Ariane 5 space rocket.

The satellite was positioned as the Arianespace mission’s upper passenger at the European Spaceport in French Guiana, South America.

During final assembly at the launch site, Alphasat was installed on top of the SYLDA dispenser system, which allows two spacecraft to be deployed on the same mission.

Alphasat is one of the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built. With a launch mass of 6,650 kg, it is also Europe’s largest satellite of its kind.

The Astrium-built spacecraft is the result of a large-scale public-private partnership involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The satellite carries an advanced, new generation L-band geo-mobile communications relay system to augment Inmarsat’s BGAN service.

Increased capacity

It will provide increased mobile satellite communications capacity across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Alphasat is the first flight model of Europe’s new Alphabus high-capacity satellite platform.

The launch is scheduled for 25 July.