Encyclopedia Astronautica
Intelsat 5A


American communications satellite. 6 launches, 1985.03.22 (Intelsat 5A F-10) to 1989.01.27 (Intelsat 5A F-15). The Intelsat 5A series was derived from the Intelsat 5.

Modifications included a larger communications payload with internal weight savings to accommodate the additional mass. The payload included 26 C-Band and 6 Ku-Band transponders, providing 15,000 voice circuits and two television channels.

The 5A series (F1-F6) was also known as Intelsat 5 (F10-F15). The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized to 0.4 deg with momentum wheels and used a hydrazine propulsion system and passive thermal control. Dual solar arrays provided 1800 W (BOL) and charged nickel hydrogen batteries.

Gross mass: 2,013 kg (4,437 lb).
Height: 2.80 m (9.10 ft).
Span: 15.90 m (52.10 ft).
First Launch: 1985.03.22.
Last Launch: 1989.01.27.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
  • Ariane French orbital launch vehicle. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 2/3 French orbital launch vehicle. Improved version of the Ariane 1. It featured increased thrust first and second stage engines, a 25% stretched third stage, 4 seconds specific impulse improvement in the third stage, a larger internal payload fairing volume, and introduced the Sylda payload carrier for dual payloads. The Ariane 3 version added two solid rocket motor strap-ons. Development was authorised in July 1980 and had a total cost of 144 million 1986 Euros. More...
  • Ariane 2 French orbital launch vehicle. Basic three stage vehicle without solid rocket motor strap-ons. Payload to geosynchronous transfer orbit was 2,175 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Programs
  • Intelsat Intelsat operated the world's first commercial communications satellite. It has provided the scheduled transoceanic television and voice and data communications service ever since. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Krebs, Gunter, Gunter's Space Page, University of Frankfurt, 1996. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC36B Atlas V, Atlas launch complex. Atlas Centaur launch pad, in service from 1964 until the retirement of the launch vehicle. More...

Intelsat 5A Chronology


1985 March 22 - . 23:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur G. LV Configuration: Atlas G Centaur AC-63 / Centaur D-1AR 5043G.
  • Intelsat 5A F-10 - . Mass: 2,013 kg (4,437 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 15629 . COSPAR: 1985-025A. Apogee: 36,468 km (22,660 mi). Perigee: 36,237 km (22,516 mi). Inclination: 7.2000 deg. Period: 1,465.10 min. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 24 deg W in 1985-1990; 174 deg E in 1990-1994; 66 deg E in 1994-1995; 57 deg E in 1995-1996; 33 deg E in 1996-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 135.23 deg W drifting at 7.152 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 107.21W drifting at 7.157W degrees per day.

1985 June 30 - . 00:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur G. LV Configuration: Atlas G Centaur AC-64 / Centaur D-1AR 5044G.
  • Intelsat 5A F-11 - . Mass: 1,098 kg (2,420 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 15873 . COSPAR: 1985-055A. Apogee: 35,799 km (22,244 mi). Perigee: 35,773 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.7000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 27 deg W in 1985-1990; 63 deg E in 1990-1992; 177 deg E in 1992-1994; 180 deg E in 1994-1997; 29 deg W in 1998-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 29.54 deg W drifting at 0.005 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 113.07W drifting at 0.696W degrees per day.

1985 September 28 - . 23:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur G. LV Configuration: Atlas G Centaur AC-65 / Centaur D-1AR 5045G.
  • Intelsat 5A F-12 - . Mass: 1,096 kg (2,416 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5A. Completed Operations Date: 1998-06-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 16101 . COSPAR: 1985-087A. Apogee: 36,140 km (22,450 mi). Perigee: 36,086 km (22,422 mi). Inclination: 6.2000 deg. Period: 1,452.80 min. Telephone communications; 31 deg E. Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 60 deg E in 1985-1989; 1 deg W in 1989-1994; 21 deg W in 1994-1996; 56 deg W in 1996-1998 As of 28 August 2001 located at 145.57 deg E drifting at 4.159 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 19.14E drifting at 4.163W degrees per day.

1986 May 31 - . 00:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 2. LV Configuration: Ariane 2 V18. FAILURE: Third stage ignition failure. Destroyed by range safety.. Failed Stage: 3.
1988 May 17 - . 23:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 2. LV Configuration: Ariane 2 V23.
  • Intelsat 5A F-13 - . Mass: 2,013 kg (4,437 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 19121 . COSPAR: 1988-040A. Apogee: 35,800 km (22,200 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Replaced Intelsat 5 F-3; 53 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 53 deg W in 1988-1995; 177 deg W in 1995-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 177.08 deg W drifting at 0.009 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 44.56W drifting at 6.109W degrees per day.

1989 January 27 - . 01:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 2. LV Configuration: Ariane 2 V28.
  • Intelsat 5A F-15 - . Mass: 1,977 kg (4,358 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 19772 . COSPAR: 1989-006A. Apogee: 35,801 km (22,245 mi). Perigee: 35,773 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. International communications; 18 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 60 deg E in 1989-1992; 18 deg W in 1992-1996; 22 deg W in 1996-1997; 38 deg W in 1998-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 37.72 deg W drifting at 0.020 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 153.76E drifting at 4.192W degrees per day.

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