UK: The UK-based satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat has signed a contract with Arianespace to launch its S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network (EAN). For the launch, an Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle will be used.
The EAN payload is part of a ‘condosat’ constructed by Thales Alenia Space, which incorporates a second payload for Hellas-Sat. The satellite payload is scheduled to be launched from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana in mid-2017.
The condosat was originally scheduled for launch with SpaceX. However, following the delay in SpaceX’s launch schedule, Inmarsat and Hellas-Sat took the decision to move the condosat to an Arianespace launch.
Inmarsat will launch Inmarsat-5 F4, a Global Xpress (GX) satellite, with SpaceX. This launch is planned for H1 2017 and Inmarsat is looking forward to continuing to work with SpaceX going forward.
“We are delighted with the flexibility that Arianespace has shown in being able to provide a launch slot that enables us to place our European Aviation Network S-band satellite in orbit by mid-2017,” said Michele Franci, CTO, Inmarsat.
“This launch schedule supports the introduction of our ground-breaking integrated satellite and air-to-ground network, developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, which will deliver a very high capacity broadband Wi-Fi experience for passengers flying throughout Europe.”