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Schedule announced for H-IIA launch vehicle to deliver Inmarsat’s first I-6 satellite to GEO orbit

Updated: May 1, 2023

Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) announce that the launch of Inmarsat’s first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 fleet (I-6 F1) by MHI’s H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (HIIA F45), will be as follows:


Launch Date: December 21st, 2021

Launch Window: 14:33:52 p.m. through 16:33:26 p.m., Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 23:33:52 p.m. through 01:33:26 a.m. (the next day), Japan Standard Time (JST)

Location: Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan


Inmarsat's sixth-generation (I-6) fleet will be its first to feature dual-payload satellites. The I-6s will support L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) services as part of the company’s unique, global, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network ORCHESTRA.

I-6F1 in orbit virtualisation

MHI Launch Services enjoys an extremely high success rate of 98.1 percent and has provided 47 successful consecutive launches, delivered on-time and to the customer's satisfaction. MHI provides a dedicated launch service for the I-6 F1 launch with the H-IIA Launch Vehicle, configured as H2A204/4S, with four Solid Rocket boosters (SRB-As) and 4m diameter payload fairing. The core stages of the H2A launch vehicle are undergoing final checks at MHI’s factory in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, ahead of their shipment to the launch site on Tanegashima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, which is located in the southwest of Japan.


“Our first Inmarsat 6 satellite, I-6F1, is the largest and most advanced commercial communications satellite ever launched and we look forward to the event in Japan with our trusted partner, MHI,” said Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO. “The I-6s are Inmarsat’s first ever hybrid L- and Ka-band satellites, incorporating increased capacity and new technological advances for ELERA’s transformational L-band services alongside additional Global Xpress high-speed broadband capacity. They demonstrate Inmarsat’s ongoing investment and commitment as a global leader for the benefit of mobility customers worldwide, delivering an enhanced platform for world-changing technologies that ELERA enables, including the Industrial Internet of Things, by providing dramatically increased network capacity and resilience. I-6 F1 also plays an integral role in the reliable geostationary earth orbit infrastructure that underpins Inmarsat ORCHESTRA - the world’s first network that will combine geostationary, low earth orbit and terrestrial 5G into one harmonious solution.”


”We are honored to have been selected by Inmarsat, a leader in the global mobile satellite communication industry, to provide launch services for their first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 series,” said Tomoe Nishigaya, Vice President & Senior General Manager for Space Systems in MHI. “We strongly believe and expect that Inmarsat’s L-band services, ELERA, and Global Xpress high-speed broadband capacity delivered by their I-6 fleet of satellites will trigger further growth of demands in the global mobile satellite communication market. Again, we are excited and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an innovative mission as a launch services provider. We are committed to providing highly reliable launch services for this 45th mission of H-IIA, following the success of previous missions. We intend to support Inmarsat and its partners with best efforts and great teamwork through the final preparation for the successful launch.”

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