by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jul 07, 2014
Inmarsat has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for its S-band satellite and up to two further Inmarsat missions. Under the terms of its agreement with SpaceX, Inmarsat expects to use the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, but will retain the possibility of using a Falcon 9 as an alternative, providing further launch flexibility.
Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat's Chief Executive Officer, said: "We believe that SpaceX has demonstrated tremendous successful progress in its launch capabilities and is now a fully-credible provider of vehicles to support geostationary missions.
In June 2014, Inmarsat announced plans to deploy a wholly-owned S-band payload on a satellite jointly owned and funded by Hellas-Sat, a non-competing European satellite operator. In connection with this latest agreement, Hellas-Sat will jointly and equally fund the cost of the SpaceX launch vehicle.
The cost to Inmarsat of the launch vehicle is included in the previously announced figure of approximately US$200 million for the total deployment programme (including build, launch, insurance and operations).
In October 2013, Inmarsat announced the purchase of a fourth Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellite from Boeing. In order to ensure launch availability for mid-2016, in line with the fourth satellite delivery schedule, Inmarsat has secured a SpaceX launch vehicle. This will provide certainty for a launch date and cost when a decision is made to launch the fourth I-5, either as a replacement satellite or as an additional satellite with an incremental Ka-band business case.
Finally, Inmarsat and SpaceX have agreed terms for a third launch vehicle opportunity that can be used for other future missions, including potentially for the launch of an Inmarsat-6 generation satellite. The Inmarsat-6 satellites have not yet been designed or ordered and a first launch is targeted only towards the end of the decade.
In relation to these launch options, Inmarsat will make some limited payments before the end of the year which will be captured within updated capital expenditure guidance to be provided with the second quarter results in August.
Satellite Constellation - multiple satellite deployments in LEO and Beyond
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