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Packing a communications payload able to transmit up to 120,000 telephone calls and 3 TV broadcasts simultaneously, a new generation INTELSAT 6 communications satellite lifted off aboard an Ariane 44L booster from Kourou Space Center. It carried 38 C-band and 10 K-band transponders. Advanced digital circuit multiplication equipment increased its average 24,000 simultaneous telephone circuit capability to 120,000 during peak hours. Built by Hughes Space & Communications Group for INTELSAT, it measured 3.6 m in diameter and 5.3 m tall when stowed. It stretched to 11.7 m with solar drum extended. The satellite was the heaviest commercial commsat flying to date, weighing 4,215 kg at launch, 2,560 kg on orbit. Two nickel hydrogen batteries supplemented the solar arrays to provide 2,252 W minimum. It had a 13-year design life.

Alternate Names

  • 20315

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1989-10-27
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 2560.0 kg
Nominal Power: 2252.0 W

Funding Agency

  • International Telecommunications Satellite Corporation (International)


  • Communications

Additional Information

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

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