Inmarsat rides SpaceX Falcon into orbit

May 16, 2017 · bbc.com

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Inmarsat, the UK's biggest space company, has boosted its global broadband network with the launch of a fourth high-frequency satellite.

The I-5 F4, which will service the voice, video and data needs of remote and on-the-move customers, was taken into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket.

It is the first time the London company has used the American launch provider.

The rocket and its payload lifted away from Florida's Kennedy Space Center at 19:21 local time (00:21 BST, Tuesday).

The I-5 F4 was ejected from the upper-stage of the Falcon some 32 minutes later.

At 6 tonnes, the satellite was on the limit of the rocket's performance, meaning SpaceX had no spare propellant to follow its usual practice of landing the vehicle's first-stage back on Earth after the mission. The booster was allowed instead to fall back uncontrolled over the Atlantic.

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