I am delighted to inform you that our first Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on board a Proton Breeze M rocket from Kazakhstan yesterday. The satellite was correctly acquired by the Inmarsat Paumalu station at 17:45 UTC and our launch provider ILS confirmed a successful spacecraft separation at 03:43 UTC.
The Inmarsat-5 generation is, by some distance, the fastest satellite development programme in our history. It is due to the dedication of our GX team, alongside the outstanding support we have received from our manufacturing, launch and ground infrastructure partners, which has delivered this successful outcome.
Today marks an important milestone on our journey to deliver the world’s first globally available, high-speed mobile broadband service. With Inmarsat-5 F2 and F3 being constructed and tested by Boeing in California, we are on schedule to achieve full global coverage by the end of 2014.
There is much to do still before Global Xpress can begin serving our customers across the world. Over the coming months, we will continue to work closely with our terminal manufacturing and technology partners and to support our growing family of GX VARs in preparation for the commercial service introduction of this game-changing communications network.
From today, our Inmarsat controllers will command the satellite to perform chemical burns to raise the spacecraft to a geosynchronous elliptical orbit. Just after Christmas, the satellite will have completed deployment of its solar arrays and reflectors and this will be followed by the electrical orbit-raising phase, taking the spacecraft to its final in-service orbital location. This is scheduled to be completed by the end of January, ready for the start of payload testing at the beginning of February.
2014 will be a year of transition leading to transformational change for Inmarsat and all its partners. I am delighted that we now enter this exciting period with such an important landmark achieved.
Chief Executive Officer