Local company launches satellite in big space project


Launch of Inmarsat-4F3 spacecraft. Pic: alexpgp

Launch of Inmarsat-4F3 spacecraft. Pic: alexpgp

A Hackney-based company has launched its first satellite into the stratosphere in the initial phase of Britain’s single biggest commercial space project.

The British telecommunications company, Inmarsat, is investing £1bn in its project Global Xpress system, the world’s first globally available broadband network.

The company launched the first out of four 1-5 FI satellites planned, on Sunday in Kazakhstan.

The satellite managed to successfully separate from the Proton Breeze rocket in the early hours of Monday morning, despite a feared failure to launch.

Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat’s Chief Executive, said: “The successful launch of this first satellite is a major landmark on our journey to deliver the world’s first globally available, high speed mobile broadband service. We are on schedule to achieve full global coverage by the end of 2014.”

The company, who has their headquarters at the Silicon Roundabout, was established in 1979 by the International Maritime Organisation. It provides mobile satellite communication and broadband networks for the military, aviation and shipping industries worldwide.

Inmarsat plans to provide faster connections of up to 50 megabits per second when all satellites have been successfully launched.

This will enable service users to transfer audio-visual material and simple data approximately 100 times faster than the existing services.

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