SpaceX is targetting the launch of a “behemoth” commercial communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre on Monday. Weighing in at nearly 13,500 pounds (6,123.4 kgs) atop the rocket, the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite will be the heaviest load lofted by a Falcon 9 yet, Floridatoday.com reported on Sunday.
“Inmarsat-5 F4 (I-5 F4) will boost the power of our award-winning Global Xpress network, which has been delivering seamless, high-speed broadband connectivity across the world since December 2015,” the London-based mobile satellite services provider said in a statement. “Once in geostationary orbit, the satellite will provide additional capacity for Global Xpress users on land, at sea and in the air,” Inmarsat said.
The satellite, built by Boeing, will be deployed approximately 32 minutes after launch when it will come under the command of the Boeing and Inmarsat satellite operations teams based at the Boeing facility in El Segundo, California.
“From here I-5 F4 will be manoeuvred to its geostationary orbit, 35,786km above Earth, where it will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors and undergo intensive payload testing before beginning commercial service,” Inmarsat said.