A Proton Breeze M rocket lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 8 carrying the first Inmarsat-5 communications satellite. (International Launch Services)
The first Inmarsat-5 communications satellites was placed into orbit Sunday.
The Boeing-made satellite was launched atop an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:12 a.m. Eastern time, Boeing said. Flight controllers confirmed 16 hours later that the satellite was functioning as expected.
The Inmarsat-5 satellites will provide global mobile communications coverage for government and commercial customers, including ships and aircraft.
“This launch is noteworthy for two reasons: It is the first in the Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 series of four high-power satellites, and our Boeing Commercial Satellite Services unit has been actively marketing its military and commercial Ka-band capacity to government users,” said Craig Cooning, CEO of Boeing Satellite Systems International.
The Inmarsat-5 F2 and F3 spacecraft are in production and scheduled for launch next year. Boeing recently received authorization to build a fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite.