Intelsat, Ltd.
Type Private
Industry Satellite communication
Founded 1964
Headquarters Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Owner(s) Madison Dearborn Partners, Apax Partners, Permira and File:Apollo Management

Intelsat, Ltd. 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.

As of March 2011, Intelsat operates a fleet of 52 communications satellites, which is the world's largest fleet of commercial satellites.[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[when?] 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] 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Current operation

Intelsat administrative 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 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.[5] 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. A highly international business, Intelsat sources the majority of its revenue from non-U.S. located customers. The biggest teleport is the Teleport Fuchsstadt in Germany.

Spacecraft operations are controlled through ground stations in Clarksburg, Maryland (USA), Hagerstown, Maryland (USA), Riverside, California (USA), and Fuchsstadt, Germany.[6]

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.[7] The satellite returned to service with reduced capacity.[8]


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.[9][10]

Satellite Details

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* Hughes Delta 42 26 October 1966** Failed to achieve geosynchronous orbit due to short burn of apogee engine[11][12]
Intelsat II F-2 Hughes Delta 44 11 January 1967 Retired
Intelsat II F-3 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 05 October 2011

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 19 SS/L-1300Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) 166 East launch in 2012 Zenit-3SL unprecedented capacity to provide services for broadband, video and voice applications[13]
Intelsat 20 SS/L-1300Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) 68.5 East launch in 2012 Ariane-5ECA 28 C-band transponders, 46 Ku-band transponders
Intelsat 21 Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS-702MP) 58 West launch in 2012 Proton-M Briz-M 40 C and 40 Ku
Intelsat 22 Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS-702MP) 72 East 1Q 2012 Zenit-3SL 48 C and 24 Ku and 18 UHF
Intelsat 23 Orbital (Star-2 Bus 2.4) 53 West 2011 Proton-M Briz-M 24 C and 15 Ku

In-space refueling demonstration project

As of March 2011, 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.[14] 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.[1]

As of March 2010, 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."[15]

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."[15]

See also

External links


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


  1. ^ a b de Selding, Peter B. (2011-03-18). "Intelsat Signs Up for MDA’s Satellite Refueling Service". Space News. Retrieved 2011-03-20. "the operator of the world’s largest fleet of commercial satellites — Intelsat has 52 in orbit. ... For this first demonstration mission, ... one of our satellites that is at the end of its life and about to be decommissioned ... will be taken out of geostationary orbit without consequence to our business, with the refueling done 200 to 300 kilometers above the geostationary belt." 
  2. ^ Donald E. Kimberlin (June 1, 1994). "Camelot on the Moon". Retrieved September 22, 2006. 
  3. ^ "On Eagle's Wings: The Parkes Observatory's Support of the Apollo 11 Mission (PDF)" (PDF). Astronomical Society of Australia. July 1, 2001. Retrieved September 22, 2006. 
  4. ^ ORBIT Act
  5. ^ "BC Partners Wins Control Of Satellite Group Intelsat". SpaceDaily. 
  6. ^ List of Intelsat locations
  7. ^ posting concerning IA-7 outage
  8. ^ Gunter's Space Page - information on Galaxy 27
  9. ^ Further renaming information at Intelsat.
  10. ^ Satellite name change table,
  11. ^ MSL-JPL, Intelsat 2
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (2011-03-14). "Intelsat Signs Up for Satellite Refueling Service". Space News. Retrieved 2011-03-15. "if the MDA spacecraft performs as planned, Intelsat will be paying a total of some $200 million to MDA. This assumes that four or five satellites are given around 200 kilograms each of fuel. ... The maiden flight of the vehicle would be on an International Launch Services Proton rocket, industry officials said. One official said the MDA spacecraft, including its 2,000 kilograms of refueling propellant, is likely to weigh around 6,000 kilograms at launch." 
  15. ^ a b Selding, Peter B. (2010-03-03). "MDA Designing In-orbit Servicing Spacecraft". Space News. Retrieved 2011-03-14. "the refueling vehicle would dock at the target satellite’s apogee-kick motor, peel off a section of the craft’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. ... The servicing robot would have an in-orbit life of about five years, and would carry enough fuel to perform 10 or 11 satellite-refueling or orbital-cleanup missions." 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Intelsat 10-02 — Startdatum 16. Juni 2004 Trägerrakete Proton 307 Startplatz Baikonur Startmasse 5600 kg Abmessungen 7,5 x 2,9 x 2,4 m …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Intelsat I — F1 Ingenieure prüfen Intelsat 1 Startdatum 6. April 1965, 23:47:50 UTC Trägerrakete Delta D Startplatz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Intelsat — Intelsat, Ltd. Тип Частная …   Википедия

  • INTELSAT — Logo de Intelsat, Ltd. Forme juridique Itelsat Limited, filiale à 100% de Intelsat Limited (Bermuda) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Intelsat 9 — Major contractors Hughes Sea Launch (LSP) Bus HS 601 HP Launch date July 28, 2000 Carrier rocket Zenit 3SL Launch site …   Wikipedia

  • Intelsat 8 — Operator Intelsat Orbital elements Longitude 166º East Transponders Transponders 24 IEEE C band 24 IEEE Ku band Coverage area Asia Pacific Au …   Wikipedia

  • Intelsat 17 — Startdatum 26. November 2010, 18:39 UTC Trägerrakete Ariane 5 ECA Startplatz CSG, ELA 3 NSSDC ID 2010 065B Startmasse 5540 kg …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Intelsat 15 — Характеристики Дата запуска 30 ноября 2009 года[1] Масса 2550 кг …   Википедия

  • Intelsat-18 — Заказчик Intelsat Производитель …   Википедия

  • Intelsat 1R — (formerly PAS 1R) is a communications satellite owned by Intelsat located at 50° W longitude, serving the Americas market. Coordinates: 0°N 45°W /  …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.