Intelsat III F-7
|Key people||David McGlade, Michael McDonell|
Intelsat, S.A. is a communications satellite services provider.
Originally formed as International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), it was—from 1964 to 2001—an intergovernmental consortium owning and managing a constellation of communications satellites providing international broadcast services.
The Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO) began on August 20, 1964, with 11 participating countries. On April 6, 1965, Intelsat’s first satellite, the Intelsat I (nicknamed Early Bird), was placed in geostationary orbit above the Atlantic Ocean by a Delta D rocket.
In 1973, the name was changed and there were 80 signatories. Intelsat provides service to over 600 Earth stations in more than 149 countries, territories and dependencies. By 2001, INTELSAT had over 100 members. It was also this year that INTELSAT privatized and changed its name to Intelsat.
Since its inception, Intelsat has used several versions (blocks) of its dedicated Intelsat satellites. INTELSAT completes each block of spacecraft independently, leading to a variety of contractors over the years. Intelsat’s largest spacecraft supplier is Space Systems/Loral, having built 31 spacecraft (as of 2003), or nearly half of the fleet.
The network in its early years was not as robust as it is now. A failure of the Atlantic satellite in the spring of 1969 threatened to stop the Apollo 11 mission; a replacement satellite went into a bad orbit and could not be recovered in time; NASA had to resort to using undersea cable telephone circuits to bring Apollo's communications to NASA during the mission. Fortunately, during the Apollo 11 moonwalk, the moon was over the Pacific Ocean, and so other antennas were used, as well as INTELSAT III, which was in geostationary orbit over the Pacific.
Due to heavy lobbying by PanAmSat, a US satellite operator, the US congress passed the Open Market Reorganization for the Betterment of International Telecommunications (ORBIT) Act to privatize the international organization. In April 1998, to appease the US government, Intelsat's senior management spun off five of its older satellites to a private Dutch entity, New Skies Satellites, which became a direct competitor to INTELSAT. To avert the US government's interference with Intelsat, Intelsat's senior management unsuccessfully considered relocating the IGO to another country.
On July 18, 2001, Intelsat became a private company, 37 years after formation. Prior to Intelsat's privatization in 2001, ownership and investment in INTELSAT (measured in shares) was distributed among INTELSAT members according to their use of services. Investment shares determined each member’s percentage of the total contribution needed to finance capital expenditures. The organization’s primary source of revenue was satellite usage fees which, after deduction of operating costs, was redistributed to INTELSAT members in proportion to their shares as repayment of capital and compensation for use of capital. Satellite services were available to any organization (both INTELSAT members and non-members), and all users paid the same rates.
Today, the number of Intelsat satellites, as well as ocean-spanning fibre-optic lines, allows rapid rerouting of traffic when one satellite fails. Modern satellites are more robust, lasting longer with much larger capacity.
Intelsat Americas-7 (known formerly as Telstar 7 and now known as Galaxy 27) experienced a several-day power failure on November 29, 2004. The satellite returned to service with reduced capacity.
Intelsat was sold for U.S. $3.1bn in January 2005 to four private equity firms: Madison Dearborn Partners, Apax Partners, Permira and Apollo Global Management. The company acquired PanAmSat on July 3, 2006, and is now the world's largest provider of fixed satellite services, operating a fleet of 52 satellites in prime orbital locations. In June 2007 BC Partners announced they had acquired 76 percent of Intelsat for about 3.75 billion euros.
In April 2013 the renamed Intelsat S.A. undertook an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, raising a net $550 million USD, of which $492 million was paid immediately to reduce outstanding company debts of $15.9 billion USD. In May the company announced it would be purchasing four new high-performance Boeing EpicNG 702 MP satellites.
Intelsat maintains its corporate headquarters in Luxembourg, with a majority of staff and satellite functions — administrative headquarters — located at the Intelsat Corporation offices in Washington, DC. In 2012 Intelsat announced that they would relocate their US headquarters from Washington to nearby Tysons Corner, Virginia by mid-2014. A highly international business, Intelsat sources the majority of its revenue from non-U.S. located customers. Intelsat's biggest teleport is the Teleport Fuchsstadt in Germany.
Renaming of Satellites
Satellite Coverage Map (HTML)
|Name||Manufacturer||Satellite type||Payload||Launch vehicle||Launch date||Status|
|Intelsat I (Early Bird)||Hughes||Delta 30||6 April 1965||Retired|
|Intelsat II F-1 (Blue Bird)*||Hughes||Delta 42||26 October 1966**||Failed to achieve geosynchronous orbit due to short burn of apogee engine|
|Intelsat II F-2 (Lani Bird)||Hughes||Delta 44||11 January 1967||Retired|
|Intelsat II F-3 (Canary Bird)||Hughes||Delta 47||23 March 1967||Retired|
|Intelsat II F-4||Hughes||Delta 52||27 September 1967||Retired|
|Intelsat III F-1||TRW||Delta 59||18 September 1968||Launch Failure|
|Intelsat III F-2||TRW||Delta 63||18 December 1968||Retired|
|Intelsat III F-3||TRW||Delta 66||5 February 1969||Retired|
|Intelsat III F-4||TRW||Delta 68||21 May 1969||Retired|
|Intelsat III F-5||TRW||Delta 71||25 July 1969||Launch Failure|
|Intelsat III F-6||TRW||Delta 75||14 January 1970||Retired|
|Intelsat III F-7||TRW||Delta 78||22 April 1970||Retired|
|Intelsat III F-8||TRW||Delta 79||23 July 1970 **||De-orbited?|
|Intelsat IV F-1||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 35||22 May 1975||Retired|
|Intelsat IV F-2||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 25||25 January 1971||Retired|
|Intelsat IV F-3||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 26||19 December 1971||Retired|
|Intelsat IV F-4||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 28||22 January 1972||Retired|
|Intelsat IV F-5||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 29||13 June 1972||Retired|
|Intelsat IV F-6||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 33||20 February 1974||Launch Failure|
|Intelsat IV F-7||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 31||23 August 1972||Retired|
|Intelsat IV F-8||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 32||21 November 1974||Retired|
|Intelsat IV-A F-1||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 36||25 September 1975||Retired|
|Intelsat IV-A F-2||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 37||29 January 1976||Retired|
|Intelsat IV-A F-3||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 46||6 January 1978||Retired|
|Intelsat IV-A F-4||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 36||26 May 1977||Retired|
|Intelsat IV-A F-5||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 43||29 September 1977||Launch Failure|
|Intelsat IV-A F-6||Hughes||Atlas-Centaur 48||31 March 1978||Retired|
|Intelsat V -501||Ford Aerospace||Atlas-Centaur 56||23 May 1981||Retired|
|Intelsat V -502||Ford Aerospace||Atlas-Centaur 54||6 December 1980||Retired|
|Intelsat V -503||Ford Aerospace||Atlas-Centaur 55||15 December 1981||Retired|
|Intelsat V -504||Ford Aerospace||Atlas-Centaur 58||4 March 1982||Retired|
|Intelsat V -505||Ford Aerospace||Atlas-Centaur 60||28 September 1982||Retired|
|Intelsat V -506||Ford Aerospace||Atlas-Centaur 61||19 May 1983||Retired|
|Intelsat V -507||Ford Aerospace||Ariane 1 V7||18 October 1983||Retired|
|Intelsat V -508||Ford Aerospace||Ariane 1 V8||4 March 1984||Retired|
|Intelsat V -509||Ford Aerospace||Atlas G||9 June 1984||Launch Failure|
|Intelsat V -510||Ford Aerospace||Atlas G||22 March 1985||Retired|
|Intelsat V -511||Ford Aerospace||Atlas G||29 June 1985||Retired|
|Intelsat V -512||Ford Aerospace||Atlas G||28 September 1985||Retired|
|Intelsat V -513||Ford Aerospace||Ariane 2 V23||17 May 1988||Retired|
|Intelsat V -514||Ford Aerospace||Ariane 2 V18||30 May 1986||Launch Failure|
|Intelsat V -515||Ford Aerospace||Ariane 2 V28||26 January 1989||Retired|
|Intelsat VI -601||Hughes||Ariane 44L V47||29 October 1991||Retired|
|Intelsat VI -602||Hughes||Ariane 44L V34||27 October 1989||Retired|
|Intelsat VI -603||Hughes||Commercial Titan III||14 March 1990**||Spacecraft successfully re-boosted during STS-49 Mission, 7 May 1992|
|Intelsat VI -604||Hughes||Commercial Titan III||23 June 1990||Retired|
|Intelsat VI -605||Hughes||Ariane 4 V45||14 August 1991||Retired|
|Intelsat K||GE||Atlas IIA (AC-105)||9 June 1992||Retired|
|Intelsat VII-702||Space Systems Loral||Ariane 44LP V64||17 June 1994|
|Intelsat VII-703||Space Systems Loral||Atlas IIA (AC-111)||6 October 1994|
|Intelsat VII-704||Space Systems Loral||Atlas IIA (AC-113)||10 January 1995||Retired|
|Intelsat VII-706||Space Systems Loral||Ariane 44LP V73||17 May 1995||?|
|Intelsat VII-708||Space Systems Loral||Long March 3B||15 February 1996||Launch Vehicle Failure|
NOTE: * "F" denotes "flight" version. Initial satellites at Intelsat were designed and manufactured as identical copies, where the flight number, for example Flight-2 (F-2) was used to differentiate individual satellites of the series.
** Titan upper stage failed to release.
|Name||Manufacturer||Satellite type||Payload||Orbital location||Launch vehicle||Launch date|
|Intelsat 701||Space Systems Loral||180.0°E||Ariane 44LP V60||22 October 1993|
|Intelsat 705||Space Systems Loral||50.0°W||Atlas IIA (AC-115)||22 March 1995|
|Intelsat 707||Space Systems Loral||53.0°W||Ariane 44LP V84||14 March 1996|
|Intelsat 709||Space Systems Loral||85.2°E||Ariane 44P V87||15 June 1996|
|Intelsat 801||Lockheed Martin||LM-3000||31.5°W||Ariane 44P V94||28 February 1997|
|Intelsat 802||Lockheed Martin||LM-3000||32.9°E||Ariane 4 V96||25 June 1997|
|Intelsat 803||Lockheed Martin||LM-3000||Ariane 4 V100||23 September 1997|
|Intelsat 804||Lockheed Martin||LM-3000||Ariane 4 V104||21 December 1997|
|Intelsat 805||Lockheed Martin||LM-3000||55.5°W||Atlas IIA (AC-153)||18 June 1998|
|Intelsat 806||Lockheed Martin||LM-3000||Atlas IIA (AC-151||27 February 1998|
|Intelsat 901||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||18.0°W||Ariane 44L-3 V141||9 June 2001|
|Intelsat 902||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||62.0°E||Ariane 44L-3 V143||29 August 2001|
|Intelsat 903||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||34.5°W||Proton-K/Block DM-3 #28L||30 March 2002|
|Intelsat 904||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||60.0°E||Ariane 44L V148||23 February 2002|
|Intelsat 905||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||24.5°W||Ariane 44L V152||6 June 2002|
|Intelsat 906||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||64.2°E||Ariane 44L V154||6 September 2002|
|Intelsat 907||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||27.5°W||Ariane 44L V159||15 February 2003|
|Intelsat 10-02||Astrium||Eurostar E3000||1.0°W||Proton-M/Briz-M||16 June 2004|
|Galaxy 28 (Intelsat Americas-8)||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||89.0°W||Sea Launch Zenit-3SL||23 June 2005|
|Galaxy 16 (PanAmSat 16)||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||99.0°W||Sea Launch Zenit-3SL||18 June 2006|
|Galaxy 17||Alcatel||FS-1300||91.0°W||Ariane 5-ECA V176||5 May 2007|
|Galaxy 25||93.5°W||Proton-K/Block DM-4||24 May 1997|
|Intelsat-11||Orbital Sciences||Star-2||43.1°W||Ariane 5GS V178||5 October 2007|
|Horizons-2||Orbital Sciences||Star-2||74.0°W||Ariane 5GS V180||21 December 2007|
|Galaxy 18 (PanAmSat Galaxy 18)||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||123.0°W||Sea Launch Zenit-3SL||21 May 2008|
|Galaxy 19 (Intelsat Americas 9)||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||97.0°W||Sea Launch Zenit-3SL||24 September 2008|
|Intelsat 14||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||315° EL||Atlas V 431||24 November 2009|
|Intelsat 15||Orbital Sciences Corp||Star 2||85° EL||Land Launch Zenit-3SL||30 November 2009|
|Intelsat 16||Orbital Sciences Corp||Star-2||58 West||Proton||12 February 2010|
|Intelsat 17||Space Systems Loral||FS-1300||66 East||Ariane 5ECA V198||26 November 2010|
|Intelsat New Dawn||Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC)||Star-2.4 Bus||32.8°E||Ariane 5||22 April 2011|
|Intelsat 18||Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC)||Star-2.4 Bus||180 East||Zenit-3SLB||5 October 2011|
|Intelsat 22||Boeing Space 702MP||BSS-702MP||72.1 east||Proton-M||25 Mar 2012|
|Intelsat 19||Space Systems Loral||SS/L-1300||166 East||Zenit-3SL||1 June 2012 *|
- Intelsat 19 failed to deploy one of two solar arrays in the day following launch.
Satellites under construction
As of June 2012, Intelsat has announced several upcoming satellite launches.
|Name||Manufacturer||Satellite type||Orbital location||spacecraft Weight||spacecraft Dry mass||spacecraft power||Service Life||Launch date||Launch vehicle||Payload|
|Intelsat 20||Space Systems Loral||SS/L-1300||68.5 East||6,094 kg||2,989 kg||19.3KW end of life||24Years||2Aug 2012||Ariane-5ECA||24@36Mhz C-band, 60@36Mhz Ku-band, 1 KA-band|
|Intelsat 21||Boeing Space 702MP||BSS-702MP||302 East||5984KG||12KW||18Years||18Aug 2012||Zenit 3SL||36 Ku, 24 C|
|Intelsat 23||Orbital Sciences Corporation||(Star-2 Bus 2.4)||53 West||3200 KG||4.8KW||15Years||Aug 2012||Proton-M||15 Ku, 24 C|
|Intelsat 27||Boeing Space 702MP||BSS-702MP||304.5 East||6241 KG||12KW||Destroyed launch failure||2/1/2013||Zenit 3SL||24Ku equivalent of 36 MHz, 24C equivalent of 36 MHz, 20UHF equivalent of 25 kHz|
|Intelsat 28||not under contract|
|Intelsat 29||not under contract|
|Intelsat 30||not under contract|
|Intelsat 31||not under contract|
In-space refueling demonstration project
As of March 2011[update], Intelsat has agreed to purchase one-half of the 2,000 kilograms (4,400 lb) propellant payload that an MDA Corporation spacecraft satellite-servicing demonstration project would take to geostationary orbit. Catching up in orbit with four or five Intelsat communication satellites, a fuel load of 200 kilograms (440 lb) of fuel delivered to each satellite would add somewhere between two and four years of additional service life. A near-end-of-life Intelsat satellite will be moved to a graveyard orbit 200 to 300 kilometres (120–190 mi) above the geostationary belt where the refueling will be done, "without consequence" to the Intelsat business.
As of March 2010[update], the business model was still evolving. MDA "could ask customers to pay per kilogram of fuel successfully added to [each] satellite, with the per-kilogram price being a function of the additional revenue the operator can expect to generate from the spacecraft’s extended operational life."
The plan is that the fuel-depot vehicle would maneuver to several satellites, dock at the target satellite’s apogee-kick motor, remove a small part of the target spacecraft’s thermal protection blanket, connect to a fuel-pressure line and deliver the propellant. "MDA officials estimate the docking maneuver would take the communications satellite out of service for about 20 minutes."
- Intelsat, Ltd.
- Market Developments in the Global Satellite Services Industry and the Implementation of the ORBIT Act GAO-05-550T April 14, 2005
- Yahoo! - Intelsat, Ltd. Company Profile
- Pacific Satellite Fails
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