The evening of Wednesday 28 June was a rather special night at Inmarsat HQ, as we waited with bated breath for the final countdown. When the numbers hit zero, we watched the ignition fire underneath the engines of the mighty 780-ton Ariane 5 and witnessed over 1,300 tons of thrust roar into action. The rocket would go on to hit over 25,000mph, burning through 300 kilos of fuel a second, as it pulled away from Earth’s gravity.
Inmarsat’s S-Band EAN satellite was officially on its way to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation solution to combine connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a complementary LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom. EAN will soon be live, providing high-speed broadband to short-haul flights above Europe.
Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The European Aviation Network is a fundamental part of Inmarsat’s commitment to revolutionise the inflight broadband experience offered by airlines. For too long, millions of passengers have been cut off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband during flights in Europe. Those days are almost over as we introduce a new gold standard in the market, which will leapfrog outdated solutions in other parts of the world and place Europe at the very forefront of connectivity innovation".
“We are delighted that the Inmarsat-S EAN satellite has been successfully launched. This is a significant milestone for Inmarsat and the many leading European companies that are involved in the project, including Deutsche Telekom, Thales Alenia Space, Arianespace, Cobham SATCOM, Nokia, OTE and others.
It was quite the launch night. If you missed it or want to relive it, keep reading. This is everything that happened on the night that our satellite safely reached orbit.
We now need to wait until the satellite is fully operational. The launch team from Inmarsat and Thales Alenia Space will raise the satellite into its geostationary orbit over Europe and the Middle East, at which point the spacecraft will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo rigorous payload testing.
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Full Article: © 2017 INMARSAT PLC.
Source : © 2017 INMARSAT PLC.