The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Home Port in Long Beach, Calif., for Sea Launch's fourth mission of the year. The Sea Launch team is preparing to launch the Inmarsat-4 (I-4) communications satellite on Nov. 4, at the opening of a 30-minute launch window, at 6:22:54 am Pacific Time (14:22:54 GMT).
The Sea Launch vessels are now on their way to the launch site in international waters of the Pacific Ocean, at 154 degrees West Longitude. Upon arrival, the launch team will initiate a 72-hour countdown, ballasting the Launch Platform 65 feet, to launch depth, and performing final tests on the launch system and the spacecraft. A Zenit-3SL vehicle will lift the 5,958 kg (13,108 lb.) spacecraft, to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) on its way to a final orbital position of 53 degrees West Longitude.
Built by EADS Astrium, the powerful spacecraft is designed to provide coverage over the Americas for a service life of more than 13 years. It is one in a series of Inmarsat's fourth generation of satellites designed to support the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) for delivery of Internet and intranet content and solutions, video-on-demand, videoconferencing, fax, e-mail, phone and LAN access at speeds of up to half a megabit to easily-used terminals the size of laptops. One of a family of three similar spacecraft, this Inmarsat-4 F2 satellite carries a single global beam that covers up to one-third of the Earth's surface, 19 wide spot beams and 228 narrow spot beams. It has a total end-of-life power of 13kW. This is Sea Launch's first mission for Inmarsat and its first mission with a European spacecraft.