Monday, May 15, 2017

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts-off from Kennedy Space Center with Inmarsat 5 F4

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A high-speed broadband spacecraft designed to increase advanced data services to remote maritime and aviation locations lifted off on Monday from America's Space Coast.

Inmarsat 5 F4 Global Xpress satellite will expand high-speed broadband connectivity across the planet with Ka-Band service. The $240 million spacecraft will soon join a fleet of three fifth-generation telecommunications satellites in geo-stationary orbit.

Built by Boeing in El Segundo, California, the global communications spacecraft has twin solar arrays for a combined 42 meters -- longer than that of a Boeing 737 aircraft. Inmarsat is scheduled to operate on orbit for approximately 15 years.

"It's been a great afternoon and evening out at Kennedy Space Center," stated John Insprucker, SpaceX principal integration engineer, minutes following the craft release into space. "We counted down with excellent weather; launched right on time -- the first stage did great, the second stage went through two burns just as planned. Now, we've topped it off with the separation of Inmarsat 5 F4 for our Inmarsat customer."

A flawless countdown lead the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Falcon 9 to ignite it's nine Merlin engines on time, launching from the Kennedy Space Center's historic pad 39-A at 7:21 p.m. EDT. The white candlestick soared straight up and into the light blue clear skies before it began to veer toward the eastern horizon.
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