Japanese rocket lofts first Inmarsat 6 satellite

(22 Dec 2021) Rocket: HII-A; Payload: Inmarsat-6 Flight 1 (I-6 F1); Date: 22 December 2021, 1532 UTC; Launch site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The satellite was deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit.

I-6 F1 is the first of two satellites in the Inmarsat 6 series, which Inmarsat ordered from Airbus in 2015. Both are based on the Eurostar-3000 electric orbit raising (E3000-EOR) satellite bus.

E3000-EOR is Airbus’s first all-electric-propulsion GEO satellite bus. This allowed Airbus to remove the standard propulsion module to reduce the total mass of the satellite.

Inmarsat-6 satellites have a launch mass of 5.5 tons, spacecraft power of 21 kW and a design life of more than 15 years.

The reduced mass of the satellite allowed Inmarsat to outfit it with dual payloads and a next-generation digital processor. This will be the first time an Inmarsat satellite supports dual payloads. I-6 will support L-Band and Ka-Band transponders for the ELERA and GX networks.

Reference: NasaSpaceFlight

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