Plans for UK Billion Pound Space Project

The procedures have begun for Britain's single biggest commercial space project.

The London based Inmarsat company has launched the first spacecraft in what will be a new global telecommunications network for their on-the-move customers.

Inmarsat plans to launch up to three further spacecraft in its Ka-bound Global Xpress CGX system.

The initial I-5 F1 satellite was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Sunday, for a flight that lasted over 15 hours.

Inmarsat has become the dominant force in the so-called Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) market.

Ruy Pinto, Inmarsat's chief technical officer said: "When we started thinking about this project five years ago, we'd come to the conclusion that you could not grow much further the L-band franchise - not in terms of revenue, but in terms of capacity.

"We have hit the limits of all-you-can-eat high-data-rate packages in L-band; there simply isn't enough spectrum. Ka is the natural next step to deliver the types of packages our customers want."

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