9 Nov 2005

Floating platform off Kiribati used as launchpad for satellite

8:01 pm on 9 November 2005

One of the largest communications satellites ever built has successfully moved into orbit after taking off from a platform near Christmas Island in Kiribati.

The spacecraft blasted off from a converted oil platform early this morning.

The rocket fell away and its six ton payload, the Inmarsat-4 communications satellite, has now moved into orbit.

A ground station in Canada has acquired the spacecraft's signal.

The satellite will provide broadband telecoms services for the Americas.