Intelsat: Wikis


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Intelsat, Ltd.
Founded 1964
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Industry Satellite communication

Intelsat, Ltd. is the world’s largest commercial satellite communications services provider. Originally formed as International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), it was an intergovernmental consortium owning and managing a constellation of communications satellites providing international broadcast services. As of 2007, Intelsat owns and operates a fleet of 51 communications satellites. In June 2007 BC Partners announced they had acquired 76 percent of Intelsat for about 3.75 billion euros.[1]



An Intelsat IVA Satellite

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.

Intelsat logo from 1973 to 1998

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.

Intelsat logo from 1998 to 2006

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.[2] 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 of the Pacific.[3]



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[4] in order to privatize the international organization. In April 1998, in order 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 soon became a direct competitor to INTELSAT. In order 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 being formed. In the period prior to Intelsat's privatization in 2001, ownership and investment in INTELSAT (measured in shares) was distributed among INTELSAT members according to their respective 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 came from 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 also are themselves more robust, lasting longer with much larger capacity.

Current operation

Intelsat headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Intelsat was sold for U.S. $3.1bn in January 2005 to four private equity firms: Madison Dearborn Partners, Apax Partners, Permira and Apollo 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. Intelsat maintains its corporate headquarters in Bermuda, with a majority of staff and satellite functions — administrative headquarters — located at the Intelsat Corporation offices in Washington, DC. A highly international business, Intelsat sources the majority of its revenue from non-U.S. located customers.

Spacecraft operations are controlled through ground stations in Clarksburg, Maryland (USA), Hagerstown, Maryland (USA), Riverside, California (USA), and Fuchsstadt, Germany.[5]

Intelsat was operating Intelsat Americas-7 (known formerly as Telstar 7 and now known as Galaxy 27) which experienced a several-day power failure on November 29, 2004.[6] The satellite returned to service with reduced capacity.[7]


On February 1, 2007, Intelsat changed the names of 16 of its satellites formerly known under the Intelsat Americas and PanAmSat brands to Galaxy and Intelsat, respectively.[8][9]

Satellite Details

Satellite Coverage Map (HTML)


Name Manufacturer Satellite type Payload Launch vehicle Launch date Status
Intelsat I (Early Bird) Hughes Delta 30 6 Apr 1965 Retired
Intelsat II F-1* Hughes Delta 42 6 Apr 1966** Failed to achieve geosynchronous orbit due to short burn of apogee engine[10]
Intelsat II F-2 Hughes Delta 44 11 Jan 1967 Retired
Intelsat II F-3 Hughes Delta 47 22 Mar 1967 Retired
Intelsat II F-4 Hughes Delta 52 27 Sept 1967 Retired
Intelsat III F-1 TRW Delta 59 18 Sept 1968 Launch Failure
Intelsat III F-2 TRW Delta 63 18 Dec 1968 Retired
Intelsat III F-3 TRW Delta 66 5 Feb 1969 Retired
Intelsat III F-4 TRW Delta 68 21 May 1969 Retired
Intelsat III F-5 TRW Delta 71 25 Jul 1969 Launch Failure
Intelsat III F-6 TRW Delta 75 14 Jan 1970 Retired
Intelsat III F-7 TRW Delta 78 22 Apr 1970 Retired
Intelsat III F-8 TRW Delta 79 23 Jul 1970 ** De-orbited?
Intelsat IV F-1 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 35 22 May 1975 Retired
Intelsat IV F-2 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 25 25 Jan 1971 Retired
Intelsat IV F-3 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 26 19 Dec 1971 Retired
Intelsat IV F-4 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 28 22 Jan 1972 Retired
Intelsat IV F-5 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 29 13 Jun 1972 Retired
Intelsat IV F-6 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 33 20 Feb 1974 Launch Failure
Intelsat IV F-7 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 31 23 Aug 1972 Retired
Intelsat IV F-8 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 32 21 Nov 1974 Retired
Intelsat IV-A F-1 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 36 25 Sept 1975 Retired
Intelsat IV-A F-2 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 37 29 Jan 1976 Retired
Intelsat IV-A F-3 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 46 6 Jan 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 Sept 1977 Launch Failure
Intelsat IV-A F-6 Hughes Atlas-Centaur 48 31 Mar 1978 Retired
Intelsat V -501 Ford Aerospace Atlas-Centaur 56 23 May 1981 Retired
Intelsat V -502 Ford Aerospace Atlas-Centaur 54 6 Dec 1980 Retired
Intelsat V -503 Ford Aerospace Atlas-Centaur 55 15 Dec 1981 Retired
Intelsat V -504 Ford Aerospace Atlas-Centaur 58 4 Mar 1982 Retired
Intelsat V -505 Ford Aerospace Atlas-Centaur 60 28 Sept 1982 Retired
Intelsat V -506 Ford Aerospace Atlas-Centaur 61 19 May 1983 Retired
Intelsat V -507 Ford Aerospace Ariane 1 V7 18 Oct 1983 Retired
Intelsat V -508 Ford Aerospace Ariane 1 V8 4 Mar 1984 Retired
Intelsat V -509 Ford Aerospace Atlas G 9 Jun 1984 Launch Failure
Intelsat V -510 Ford Aerospace Atlas G 22 Mar 1985 Retired
Intelsat V -511 Ford Aerospace Atlas G 29 Jun 1985 Retired
Intelsat V -512 Ford Aerospace Atlas G 28 Sept 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 Jan 1989 Retired
Intelsat VI -601 Hughes Ariane 44L V47 29 Oct 1991 Retired
Intelsat VI -602 Hughes Ariane 44L V34 27 Oct 1989 Retired
Intelsat VI -603 Hughes Commercial Titan III 14 Mar 1990** Spacecraft successfully re-boosted during STS-49 Mission, 7 May 1992
Intelsat VI -604 Hughes Commercial Titan III 23 Jun 1990 Retired
Intelsat VI -605 Hughes Ariane 4 V45 14 Aug 1991 Retired
Intelsat K GE Atlas IIA (AC-105) 9 Jun 1992 Retired
Intelsat VII-702 Space Systems Loral Ariane 44LP V64 17 Jun 1994
Intelsat VII-703 Space Systems Loral Atlas IIA (AC-111) 6 Oct 1994
Intelsat VII-704 Space Systems Loral Atlas IIA (AC-113) 10 Jan 1995 Retired
Intelsat VII-706 Space Systems Loral Ariane 44LP V73 17 May 1995 ?
Intelsat VII-708 Space Systems Loral Long March 3B 15 Feb 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 Oct 1993
Intelsat 705 Space Systems Loral 50.0°W Atlas IIA (AC-115) 22 Mar 1995
Intelsat 707 Space Systems Loral 53.0°W Ariane 44LP V84 14 Mar 1996
Intelsat 709 Space Systems Loral 85.2°E Ariane 44P V87 15 Jun 1996
Intelsat 801 Lockheed Martin LM-3000 31.5°W Ariane 44P V94 28 Feb 1997
Intelsat 802 Lockheed Martin LM-3000 32.9°E Ariane 4 V96 25 Jun 1997
Intelsat 803 Lockheed Martin LM-3000 Ariane 4 V100 23 Sep 1997
Intelsat 804 Lockheed Martin LM-3000 Ariane 4 V104 21 Dec 1997
Intelsat 805 Lockheed Martin LM-3000 55.5°W Atlas IIA (AC-153) 18 Jun 1998
Intelsat 806 Lockheed Martin LM-3000 Atlas IIA (AC-151 27 Feb 1998
Intelsat 901 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 18.0°W Ariane 44L-3 V141 9 Jun 2001
Intelsat 902 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 62.0°E Ariane 44L-3 V143 29 Aug 2001
Intelsat 903 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 34.5°W Proton-K/Block DM-3 #28L 30 Mar 2002
Intelsat 904 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 60.0°E Ariane 44L V148 23 Feb 2002
Intelsat 905 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 24.5°W Ariane 44L V152 6 Jun 2002
Intelsat 906 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 64.2°E Ariane 44L V154 6 Sep 2002
Intelsat 907 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 27.5°W Ariane 44L V159 15 Feb 2003
Intelsat 10-02 Astrium Spacebus 1.0°W Proton-M/Briz-M 16 Jun 2004
Galaxy 28 (Intelsat Americas-8) Space Systems Loral FS-1300 89.0°W Sea Launch Zenit-3SL 23 Jun 2005
Galaxy 16 (PanAmSat 16) Space Systems Loral FS-1300 99.0°W Sea Launch Zenit-3SL 18 Jun 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 24th May 1997
Intelsat-11 Orbital Sciences Star-2 43.1°W Ariane 5GS V178 5 Oct 2007
Horizons-2 Orbital Sciences Star-2 74.0°W Ariane 5GS V180 21 Dec 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 Sep 2008
Intelsat 14 Space Systems Loral FS-1300 315° EL Atlas V 431 24 Nov 2009
Intelsat 15 Orbital Sciences Corp Star 2 85° EL Land Launch Zenit-3SL 30 Nov 2009

Sea Launch delivered Galaxy 19 to GTO on September 24, 2008 using a Zenit rocket launched from its Ocean Odyssey floating platform. Galaxy 19 was built by Space Systems/Loral and carries 52 physical transponders. Intelsat will locate the satellite at 97 degrees West Longitude, with coverage of all 50 US states as well the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.[11]

Satellites under construction

As of June 2009, Intelsat has announced several upcoming satellite launches.

Name Satellite type Orbital location Launch date Launch vehicle Payload
Intelsat 16 Orbital (Star-2 Bus) 58 West 4Q 2009 Proton 24 Ku
Intelsat 17 SS/L-1300 66 East 4Q 2010 Zenit-3SL 24 C and 28 Ku
Intelsat New Dawn Orbital (Star-2 Bus) 33 East 4Q 2010 Ariane 5 or Soyuz 14 C and 16 Ku
Intelsat 18 Orbital (Star-2 Bus 2.4) 180 East 1Q 2011 Zenit-3SLB 40 C and 24 Ku
Intelsat 19 SS/L-1300Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) 166 East launch in 2011 TBD unprecedented capacity to provide services for broadband, video and voice applications[12]
Intelsat 20 SS/L-1300Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) 68.5 East launch in 2012 TBD unprecedented capacity to provide services for broadband, video and voice applications
Intelsat 21 Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS-702B) 58 West launch in 2012 TBD unprecedented capacity to provide services for broadband, video and voice applications
Intelsat 22 Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS-702B) 72 East 1Q 2012 TBD 48 C and 24 KU and 18 UHF
Intelsat 23 Orbital (Star-2 Bus 2.4) 55.5 West 1Q 2013 TBD 24 C

See also

External links


Coordinates: 38°56′30″N 77°03′49″W / 38.94167°N 77.06361°W / 38.94167; -77.06361



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