The British telecommunications satellite Inmarsat-5F3 has reached a planned geostationary orbit, the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reports.
"The Inmarsat-5F3 telecommunications satellite reached a geostationary orbit at a planned time. The launch may be considered successful," a Roscosmos spokesperson said.
In August 2010, Boeing Satellite Systems contracted to build three Inmarsat-5 satellites on the BSS-702HP platform for the orbital constellation of the British company Inmarsat Plc. Each six-tonne satellite carries 89 Ka-band transponders. The satellites with a service life of at least 15 years are to be inserted in a geostationary orbit. The first two satellites of the series were launched by Proton rockets in December 2013 and in February 2015.
The third satellite will make the network global and provide a full spectrum of worldwide satellite and broadband mobile communication services to ships and aircraft passengers, and high resolution video streaming.
A Proton-M launch vehicle coupled with an upper stage and carrying the Inmarsat-5F3 lifted off on Friday, so resuming a Proton-M launch program, which had been suspended after a Proton carrying the MexSat-1 satellite crashed on May 16, 2015.
A number of satellites are waiting for their turn to be inserted into orbit before the end of this year, including Russia's Express AM-8 (scheduled to be launched on September 14), Turkish Turksat 4B (the planned launch date is October 6), a Kosmos satellite (built under a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry and set to be launched in late October), Europe's Eutelsat 9B and Russia's Express AMU1 (to be launched in November).
The success of the missions planned before the end of 2015 is of paramount importance to the Russian rocket and space industry, which should begin the year 2016 with the launch of the ExoMars research spacecraft on board a Proton-M rocket. By this time, Proton will need to restore its reputation as a reliable launch vehicle.
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