TECH | Fourth satellite for Inmarsat’s global broadband network launched by SpaceX

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A Boeing-built satellite on the way to join Inmarsat’s globe-spanning network geared to beam Internet and data transmission capacity to airline passengers, maritime crews and military personnel flew into orbit Monday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard an expendable Falcon 9 rocket.

The satellite is the fourth member of Inmarsat’s broadband communications fleet, a $1.6 billion initiative named Global Xpress conceived to connect aircraft, ships at sea, and mobile users on land with through an umbrella of worldwide Ka-band beams.

The two-stage rocket, towering 229 feet (70 meters) tall, was stripped of recovery hardware to give the 6.7-ton Inmarsat 5 F4 payload the boost it needed toward an eventual circular geostationary orbit 22,300 miles (35,800 kilometers) over the equator.

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