Media Update - Global Xpress Boeing Completes Final Tests on First Inmarsat GX Satellite

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Boeing completes final tests on first GX satellite (I-5 F1) before shipping to Baikonour for launch in December 2013. GX Aviation is on course to achieve full global coverage by the end of 2014

An artist's rendering of the Inmarsat-5 satellite

The GX Aviation programme is firmly on track within our current schedule of being available from early 2015

Following a recent tour for customers and partners of Boeing’s El Segundo Satellite Development Center to view the construction of Inmarsat’s game-changing Global Xpress (GX) satellite constellation, Inmarsat Aviation has prepared an update on the status of GX.

GX Aviation, Inmarsat’s Ka-band service for the aviation industry, will, uniquely, provide consistent high-speed connectivity for commercial and business aircraft throughout the world. It will deliver IP connectivity services of up to 50Mbps across the global spot beam coverage, providing the capacity and bandwidth for enhanced connectivity services.

GX Aviation Status
Miranda Mills, Inmarsat President, Aviation, said: “The GX Aviation programme is firmly on track within our current schedule of being available from early 2015. Under the expert control of the Boeing teams, the satellites are being manufactured and tested to the highest standards. The first launch is on schedule for late this year with full global coverage on course to be achieved by the end of 2014.

“GX Aviation is changing the face of inflight connectivity. It will be the world’s first global Ka-band network, specifically designed to provide connectivity to aircraft. It will enable a whole range of new services for both passengers and crew.”

I-5 F1 Completing Final Tests
The first of the three GX satellites, Inmarsat-5 F1, has undergone the final stages of system level performance testing at the El Segundo facility before it is shipped from Los Angeles International Airport to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The satellite is scheduled to fly on an Antonov An-225 heavy transporter in early November, in preparation for a scheduled early December launch.

Launch System
The ILS Proton Breeze M launch vehicle will take the 6,100Kg Inmarsat-5F1 spacecraft to geostationary transfer orbit. From there, the satellite will deploy its solar arrays, with a span similar to that of a Boeing 737. It will then be positioned in geostationary orbit above the Indian Ocean region, around 23,000 miles from earth, where the gravitational pulls of Earth, Sun and Moon balance each other.

Inmarsat-5 F2
The second satellite (Inmarsat-5 F2) is coming to the end of its assembly process at the Boeing plant, before it begins a series of tests that simulate the extremes of temperature it will experience in space. This will ensure that the heat transfer technology works perfectly. This enables the electronics inside the satellite to operate at room temperature, despite a difference of around 300°C between the back and front of the satellite.

I-5 F2 will also undergo rigorous simulation testing of the launch conditions, both through vibration and acoustic testing. The acoustic testing uses nitrogen to subject the satellite to up to 152 Overall Sound Pressure Level (OASPL). The satellite’s data transmission and receive capabilities will also be thoroughly tested, including tests over Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ground network.

Fourth GX Satellite Purchased
Inmarsat recently triggered an option to purchase a fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite, under its existing contract with Boeing. The programme schedule from Boeing has a satellite delivery date of mid-2016.

Images and b-roll footage are available here


About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit

Press Contacts

Global media contact                
Jonathan Sinnatt                                                        
Head of Corporate Communications        
+ 44 (0) 20 7728 1935             

Aviation media contact    
Charlie Pryor    
Leidar for Inmarsat
+44 7958 975 667

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