Encyclopedia Astronautica
Inmarsat


Mobile communications satellite network.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • AS 4000 American communications satellite. 8 launches, 1985.11.27 (Satcom K2) to 1998.02.04 (Inmarsat 3 F5). 3-axis stabilization with momentum wheels, magnetic torquers, Earth sensors and 16 blowdown monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. More...
  • Eurostar 1000 French communications satellite. 4 launches, 1990.10.30 (Inmarsat 2 F1) to 1992.04.15 (Inmarsat 2 F4). The Eurostar 1000 platform was the first generation of Matra Marconi Space GEO satellite platforms serving mainly commercial telecoms applications. More...
  • Eurostar 3000 French communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2005.03.11 (Inmarsat 4-F1). Third generation of Matra Marconi Space GEO satellite platforms serving mainly commercial telecommunications applications. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton-K/DM-2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. This improved four stage version uses the Block DM-2 / 11S861 fourth stage, which has its own guidance unit. This reduces payload but does not require the spacecraft's guidance system to provide steering commands to booster. Replaced the original Block DM / 11S86 version from 1982 to 1995. Used for launch of Glonass navigation satellites into medium earth orbit; and launch of Luch, Ekran-M, Potok, Raduga, Gorizont, Raduga-1, Elektro, and Gals communications satellites into geosynchronous orbit. Commercial version with Saab payload adapter-seperation system for Western payloads was dubbed 'Block DM1'. More...
  • Ariane 44LP French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket + 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Delta 6925 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4A + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27+ 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...
  • Ariane 44L French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 4 liquid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Atlas IIA American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas IIA was a commercial derivative of the Atlas II developed for the US Air Force. Higher performance RL10A-4 (or RL10A-4-1) engines replaced Atlas II's RL10A-3-3A engines. More...
  • Zenit-3SL Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. From the beginning of the program a Zenit-3 version was proposed for geosynchronous launches using the N1/Proton Block D third stage. This had the potential of replacing the Proton in the role of geosynchronous launcher. It was considered for launch from Australia / Cape York in the 1980's. Finally a joint US-Norwegian-Ukraininan-Russian consortium was formed to launch the three stage commercial Zenit from the Odyssey floating launch platform in the Pacific Ocean. More...
  • Atlas V 431 American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas V with 4-m diameter payload fairing, single engine Centaur upper stage, and three strap-on solid boosters. Payloads: 11,547 kg (25,458 lb) to sun synchronous orbit; 7,800 kg (17,196 lb) to geosynchronous transfer orbit. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Inmarsat Citizen of the World agency overseeing development of spacecraft. International Maritime Satellite Organization, International. More...
  • RCA American manufacturer of spacecraft. RCA, USA. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...
  • Kiritimati Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in the Pacific Ocean was originally selected by Von Braun in his Collier magazine series of the early 1950's as an ideal equatorial launch site. A half century later, Boeing Sea Launch used an offshore location for orbital launches. The launch platform was a seagoing converted Norwegian offshore oil rig. Between missions it was berthed in Long Beach, California. It was towed to a location off Kiritimati for launches of the Ukrainian Zenit-3 launch vehicle. More...

Inmarsat Chronology


1990 October 30 - . 23:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 6925. LV Configuration: Delta 6925 D200.
  • Inmarsat 2 F1 - . Mass: 1,385 kg (3,053 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 1000. USAF Sat Cat: 20918 . COSPAR: 1990-093A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 1.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Mobile communications; 64.5 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 65 deg E in 1990-1996; 179 deg E in 1996-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 178.97 deg E drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 143.50E drifting at 0.015W degrees per day.

1991 March 8 - . 23:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 6925. LV Configuration: Delta 6925 D203.
  • Inmarsat 2 F2 - . Mass: 1,385 kg (3,053 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 1000. USAF Sat Cat: 21149 . COSPAR: 1991-018A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 2.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Mobile and maritime communications; 15.5 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 15 deg W in 1991-1996; 55 deg W in 1997-1999; DRIFT As of 6 September 2001 located at 97.95 deg W drifting at 0.002 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 97.96W drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

1991 December 16 - . 23:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L V48.
  • Inmarsat 2 F3 - . Mass: 1,310 kg (2,880 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 1000. USAF Sat Cat: 21814 . COSPAR: 1991-084B. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 1.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Global maritime and mobile communications; 178 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 178 deg E in 1992-1997; 65 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 29 August 2001 located at 65.01 deg E drifting at 0.003 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 155.28W drifting at 15.158W degrees per day.

1992 April 15 - . 23:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L+ V50.
  • Inmarsat 2 F4 - . Mass: 1,385 kg (3,053 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 1000. USAF Sat Cat: 21940 . COSPAR: 1992-021B. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 2.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Stationed at 55 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 54 deg W in 1992-1997; 17 deg W in 1997-1999; DRIFT As of 4 September 2001 located at 109.00 deg E drifting at 0.022 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 108.99E drifting at 0.020W degrees per day.

1996 April 3 - . 23:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIA. LV Configuration: Atlas IIA AC-122.
  • Inmarsat 3 F1 - . Mass: 2,068 kg (4,559 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 23839 . COSPAR: 1996-020A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,767 km (22,224 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Geostationary at 64.1E. Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit with RAAN Cntl trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 64 deg E in 1996-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 63.98 deg E drifting at 0.003 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 64.52E drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.

1996 September 6 - . 17:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 (DM1) 375-01.
  • Inmarsat 3 F2 - . Mass: 1,021 kg (2,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INMARSAT. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 24307 . COSPAR: 1996-053A. Apogee: 35,807 km (22,249 mi). Perigee: 35,766 km (22,223 mi). Inclination: 2.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Geostationary at 15.5W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 15 deg W in 1996-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 15.48 deg W drifting at 0.005 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 7 located at 15.47W drifting at 0.007W degrees per day..

1996 December 18 - . 01:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIA. LV Configuration: Atlas IIA AC-129.
  • Inmarsat 3 F3 - . Mass: 1,021 kg (2,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 24674 . COSPAR: 1996-070A. Apogee: 35,807 km (22,249 mi). Perigee: 35,764 km (22,222 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Geostationary at 157.6E. Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit with RAAN Cntl trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 178 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 178.02 deg E drifting at 0.006 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 178.19E drifting at 0.002E degrees per day.

1997 June 3 - . 23:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L-3 V97.
  • Inmarsat 3 F4 - . Mass: 1,021 kg (2,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 24819 . COSPAR: 1997-027A. Apogee: 35,805 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,770 km (22,220 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Geosynchronous. Stationed over 54.0W Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 54 deg W in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 53.97 deg W drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 142.07W drifting at 0.000E degrees per day..

1998 February 4 - . 23:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V105.
  • Inmarsat 3 F5 - . Mass: 1,021 kg (2,250 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: RCA. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 25153 . COSPAR: 1998-006B. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Geostationary at 25.0 degrees E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 25 deg E in 1998-1999 As of 24 July 2001 located at 25.09 deg E drifting at 0.020 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 25.07E drifting at 0.017W degrees per day..

2005 March 11 - . 21:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 431. LV Configuration: Atlas V 431 AV-004.
  • Inmarsat 4-F1 - . Payload: Inmarsat 4A / Eurostar 3000GM. Mass: 5,959 kg (13,137 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: EADS Astrium. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 28628 . COSPAR: 2005-009A. Apogee: 36,011 km (22,376 mi). Perigee: 35,562 km (22,097 mi). Inclination: 3.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Heaviest single payload to geosynchronous transfer orbit to that date. Delayed from October 2004, February 27, March 10, 2005. The satellite was to provide L-band mobile communications and wideband data transmission for Inmarsat's global network. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 63.82E drifting at 0.000E degrees per day.

2005 November 8 - . 14:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiritimati. Launch Pad: 0.0 N x 154.0 W. Launch Platform: ODYSSEY. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-3SL. LV Configuration: Zenit-3SL 23.
  • Inmarsat 4F-2 - . Payload: Inmarsat 4B; Eurostar 3000GM. Mass: 5,958 kg (13,135 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Inmarsat. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 28899 . COSPAR: 2005-044A. Apogee: 35,965 km (22,347 mi). Perigee: 35,902 km (22,308 mi). Inclination: 2.9000 deg. Period: 1,443.60 min. Summary: The satellite was fitted with a 10 meter diameter antenna for mobile communications. Payload moved from Ariane 5 EC-A. Launch delayed from September, November 4 and 5, 2005. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 52.87W drifting at 0.010W degrees per day..

2008 August 18 - . 22:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton/Briz M.
  • Inmarsat 4 F3 - . Mass: 4,960 kg (10,930 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Inmarsat. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 33278 . COSPAR: 2008-039A. Apogee: 36,027 km (22,386 mi). Perigee: 36,009 km (22,374 mi). Inclination: 3.1000 deg. Period: 1,447.90 min. Summary: Maritime communications satellite with a solar panel span of 45 m, and a 10-m diameter L-band mobile communications antenna..

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