Image: Inmarsat

Inmarsat has confirmed its spacecraft, I-6 F2, will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station aboard a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The company said it doesn’t expect the launch to take place any earlier than this Friday.

The event will be live-streamed on Inmarsat’s website beginning at 10:00pm EST / 3:00am UTC.

Geostationary orbit

The launch will see Inmarsat’s latest 6th generation communications spacecraft leave Earth on its way to geostationary orbit. From lift off in Florida, the satellite will travel up and east across the Atlantic Ocean towards the west coast of Africa, reaching a top speed of almost 40,000kph (24,800mph).

After Airbus delivered the satellite via Azores, Newfoundland and Washington D.C. aboard its unique ‘Beluga’ transportation service, the spacecraft has spent the last two weeks in Florida undergoing final testing and integration with the rocket.

I-6 F2 follows its ‘twin’, I-6 F1, which launched from Japan in late 2021. They are the world’s most sophisticated commercial communications satellites and will deliver a major upgrade in the capacity and capabilities of Inmarsat’s two global communications networks for more than 15 years. I-6 F1 is scheduled to connect its first customers later this year, with I-6 F2 set to follow in 2024.

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