SpaceX Successfully Launches Inmarsat-5 F4 Commercial Communications Satelitte

Students at Lennox Math Science and Technology Academy will have a science project launched into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket to launch June 1. The students project which had to compete for a ride on the rocket is a small tube which contains soil

The Inmarsat-5 satellite, weighing in at almost 13,500 pounds (6,123.4 kgs), atop the rocket, will blast off from SpaceX's seaside Launch Complex 39A on NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:21 p.m. EDT (or 23:21 UTC) Monday, May 15.

The Inmarsat 5 F4 communications satellite will boost the company's mobile broadband coverage as well as the scope of Global Xpress, Inmarsat's in-flight wifi network used by commercial airlines.

Over the past year, SpaceX has made Falcon 9 booster landings seem nearly routine. Instead, the Falcon 9's top payload capacity has been improved to the point where it can handle delivering the Inmarsat satellite to its target geostationary orbit.

The satellite is the size of a double decker bus.

The launch is scheduled for 7:21 p.m. from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The company has been making use of SpaceX's services to create a network for satellites that would together power high speed Internet for the world.

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The satellite, called the Inmarsat-5 Flight 4, is built by Boeing and is created to be one of four Global Xpress satellites that are set to deliver improved mobile internet connection for passengers in commercial aircraft, ships, and members of the United States military who are now deployed. The rocket's launch follows the critical static hot-fire test that was successfully completed last May 11. It keeps SpaceX on track with its ideal of two launches every month of 2017.

Since then, the California-based company has also won two contracts to launch Global Positioning System satellites for the U.S. Air Force.

In any case, the Falcon 9's second stage fired twice to reach a so-called "super synchronous" elliptical orbit and the Inmarsat-5 satellite was safely released to fly on its own.

The three earlier satellites in the $1.6 billion constellation were launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan by Russian rockets.

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