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Atlas 5 launches Inmarsat satellite
Posted: Fri, Mar 11, 2005, 10:07 PM ET (0307 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of Inmarsat 4-F1 (J. Foust) An Atlas 5 vehicle successfully launched a heavy Inmarsat communications satellite Friday. The Atlas 5 431 lifted off Friday from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:42 pm EST (2142 GMT). It placed its payload, Inmarsat 4-F1, into a supersynchronous transfer orbit 32 minutes later. The launch was delayed one day because of minor technical glitches; there were no serious problems encountered during Friday's countdown, and weather conditions cooperated despite occasionally gusty winds. Inmarsat 4-F1, built by EADS Astrium, is the heaviest commercial communications satellite ever orbited, with a launch mass of approximately 5,950 kilograms. The satellite, to be located in GEO at 65 degrees east longitude, will be used by Inmarsat to provide voice and broadband data services.
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