Inmarsat Global Xpress Satellite Reaches Baikonur for ILS Proton Launch

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Inmarsat’s second Global Xpress satellite — Inmarsat-5 F2 — has arrived at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in advance of its early 2015 launch aboard an ILS Proton rocket, London-based Inmarsat announced Dec. 18.

The satellite left Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems’s El Segundo, California, satellite factory Dec. 16 and was flown from Los Angeles International Airport aboard an Antonov AN-124 heavy transporter aircraft. Launch is targeted for Jan. 30.

Inmarsat-5 F2 had been slated to launch last May, but its launch was delayed following the failure that month of  a Proton heavy-lift rocket carrying the Russian Satellite Communications Co.’s Express AM4R satellite.

The first Global Xpress satellite was launched in December 2013 over the Indian Ocean region. After a period of testing, regional commercial service started July 1 with the U.S. government as the customer. Inmarsat told investors in August that the Global Xpress broadband service would not be available globally until mid-2015 because of the launch delays that followed the Proton failure.