Successful launch for Inmarsat's Alphasat satellite

Inmarsat’s Alphasat satellite, I-4A F4, has been successfully launched from the European Spaceport in French Guiana.

An Ariane 5 ECA rocket blasted off at 19:54 UTC on 25 July, with launch provider Arianespace confirming a successful spacecraft separation 27 minutes 45 seconds later.

The Alphasat Mission Operations Team confirmed telemetry reception and that they have command of the satellite at 22:47 UTC.

Global broadband
Alphasat is one of the most advanced telecommunications satellites ever constructed for civilian applications.

With a US$350 million investment from Inmarsat, Alphasat joins the company’s award-winning Inmarsat-4 (I-4) satellite fleet, which has been powering global broadband connectivity for government and commercial customers in the L-band since 2009.

With the successful acquisition of the satellite confirmed, Inmarsat’s Alphasat Mission Operations Team will complete partial solar array deployment overnight and commence orbit-raising on 26 July, to place the satellite into its final geostationary orbit position. This operation is scheduled to be completed on 31 July.

Long-term commitment
“Alphasat will strengthen our existing I-4 satellite constellation, providing coverage over Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat.

“The launch demonstrates Inmarsat’s long-term commitment to L-band services, and marks a significant milestone in the evolution of our flagship satellite fleet, bringing new capabilities both in terms of performance and resource availability.”

He added: “I would like to pay tribute to the skill and expertise of Inmarsat’s engineering teams and all our employees involved in the launch.

Outstanding support
“It is their dedication – alongside the outstanding support we have received from our development, manufacturing and launch partners – which has helped deliver such a successful outcome.”

Designed and manufactured by Astrium, Alphasat was born out of a European Space Agency (ESA) initiative to build a new spacecraft platform capable of carrying a large state-of-the-art communications payload.

Alphasat represents Europe’s largest ever private-public partnership for a space project, with ESA teaming up with Inmarsat to create new services and jobs.

Alphasat's communications payload was designed and built at Astrium's UK plants in Stevenage and Portsmouth, with important contributions from Astrium in France and Germany.

Alphasat launch video: