Press Release

Arianespace Chosen to Launch Alphasat

By SpaceRef Editor
May 20, 2009
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Inmarsat has chosen Arianespace to launch its new Alphasat I-XL communications satellite. This contract follows a partnership agreement between Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) concerning the commercialization of the first mission to use the new European platform, Alphabus.

Planned for launch in 2012, Alphasat I-XL will be carried by an Ariane 5 ECA in from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The satellite will be built by Astrium using an Alphabus platform, and will weigh more than six metric tons at launch. The new-generation Alphasat I-XL will be positioned at 25 degrees East, and will join Inmarsat’s current satellite fleet of 11 geostationary satellites to offer advanced mobile voice and data communications services across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Its design life is 15 years.

Arianespace and Inmarsat have an established relationship reaching back to the launch of the first Inmarsat satellites. The British-based company has chosen Arianespace to launch five of its satellites.

Commenting on this latest contract, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “Just a few days after the magnificent launch of ESA’s two scientific satellite, Herschel and Planck, we are both proud and honored to once again be working with ESA on a project that supports the deployment of very powerful payloads. We would also like to thank Inmarsat for their loyalty to Arianespace over the last 28 years. This is the eighth contract we have signed in 2009 with the world’s leading operators, clear recognition of the quality and competitiveness of our launch Service & Solutions.”

SpaceRef staff editor.