Inmarsat has selected Arianespace to launch their new Alphasat I-XL communications satellite.
This contract follows a partnership agreement between Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) concerning the commercialization of the first mission to use the new European platform, Alphabus. Planned for launch in 2012, Alphasat I-XL will be carried by an Ariane 5 ECA into orbit from blast-off at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite will be built by Astrium using an Alphabus platform, and will weigh more than six metric tons at launch. The new-generation Alphasat I-XL will be positioned at 25 degrees East and will join Inmarsat’s current satellite fleet of 11 geostationary satellites to offer advanced mobile voice and data communications services across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Its design life is 15 years.