Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

SpaceX set to launch Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite Monday night

SpaceX set to launch Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite Monday night

SpaceX blasted the "largest and most complicated communications satellite ever built to orbit" for London based Inmarset at twilight this evening, May 15, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Florida on Monday, carrying the company's first satellite for the USA military, and breaking a 10-year monopoly held by a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

If all goes well, from today through the end of June, there will be as many as five Falcon 9 rockets that will be launched, the next being on June 1 of the CRS-11 Dragon mission.

SpaceX did not attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage because of the mission's fuel requirements to lift the heavy satellite into space. According to SpaceX, the satellite is the fourth in the "Global Xpress constellation", and will improve the reliability of Inmarsat's GX global communications network.

"Inmarsat-5 F4 (I-5 F4) will boost the power of our award-winning Global Xpress network, which has been delivering seamless, high-speed broadband connectivity across the world since December 2015".

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Inmarsat 5 F4 counts as the sixth SpaceX launch of 2017.

The Inmarsat-5 satellite being loaded into the fairing of a Falcon 9. "In maritime, our system is actually integrated".

The reasons behind it have to do with the satellite's weight, which will exceed 13,000 pounds, and the amount of fuel required to propel the vehicle into space. SpaceX has recovered 10 first stage boosters in 15 attempts over the past two years. The weather also looks like it won't be interfering with the much-anticipated launch of Falcon 9. It's the private company's 6th successful flight this year.

SpaceX operates a launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and two pads in Florida. The payload is too heavy.

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