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SATCOM I was a telecommunications satellite launched using the Ariane launch vehicle from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana. Built for GE American Communications by GE Astro Space, it provided C-band video, voice and data service to commercial and government users in the continental US, Alaska and Hawaii. Twenty-four transponders operated at 6/4 GHz. The new commsat, the first in a series of scheduled replacements for the GE network, featured command encryption and both vertical and horizontal polarization. Onboard polarization switching allowed the satellite to operate at other orbital postitions to restore interruptions in multipoint distribution services. The box-shaped bus measured 2.5 m by 1.3 m by 1.6 m. Solar arrays, supplying 1,030 W at end of life, span 15.7 m when deployed. SATCOM I was stationed above 137 deg. w long., and has a 12-year design life.

Alternate Names

  • 20945

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1990-11-20
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 670 kg
Nominal Power: 1030 W

Funding Agency

  • GE American Communications, Inc. (United States)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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