Encyclopedia Astronautica
Geosynchronous orbit


Category of spacecraft.

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Associated Spacecraft
  • AEHF The Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite program was the next generation of global, highly secure, survivable communications system for all services of the US Department of Defense, replacing the Milstar series. The first was finally launched three years behind schedule at a cost that had doubled from the original $5 billion estimate. More...
  • Syncom American communications technology satellite. 3 launches, 1963.02.14 (Syncom I; Syncom 1) to 1964.08.19 (Syncom 3). Experimental telecommunications satellite. More...
  • Intelsat 1 American communications satellite. One launch, 1965.04.06. Intelsat 1, also called Early Bird, was the world's first commercial communications satellite. It provided the first scheduled transoceanic TV service and was operational for 3.5 years. More...
  • GGTS American gravity gradient technology satellite. One launch, 1966.06.16. Gravity gradient stabilization tests. More...
  • IDCSP American military communications satellite. 35 launches, 1966.06.16 (IDCSP 1-1) to 1968.06.13 (IDCSP 4-8). More...
  • Intelsat 2 American communications satellite. 4 launches, 1966.10.26 (Intelsat 2 F-1) to 1967.09.28 (Intelsat 2 F-4). The Intelsat 2 series expanded ITSO coverage to include 2/3 of the Earth's surface. More...
  • ATS-1 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1966.12.07, ATS 1. During its 18 year lifetime, ATS-1 examined spin stabilization techniques, investigated the geostationary environment, and performed several communications experiments. More...
  • ATS-2 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1967.04.06, ATS 2. ATS-2 was placed into an undesirable orbit due to a launch vehicle failure. More...
  • DODGE American gravity gradient technology satellite. One launch, 1967.07.01. The Navy's 195 kg DODGE (Department Of Defense Gravity Experiment) satellite had the primary mission to explore gravity gradient stabilization at near synchronous altitude. More...
  • ATS-3 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1967.11.05, ATS 3. The goals for ATS-3 included investigations of spin stabilization techniques and VHF and C-band communications experiments. More...
  • Canyon American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 7 launches, 1968.08.06 (Canyon 1) to 1977.05.23 (Canyon 7). The first large US signals intelligence satellite. More...
  • ATS-4 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1968.08.10, ATS 4. A launch vehicle failure stranded ATS-4 in a much lower than planned orbit, making the satellite nearly useless. More...
  • Intelsat 3 American communications satellite. 8 launches, 1968.09.19 (Intelsat-3 F-1) to 1970.07.23 (Intelsat 3 F-8). Intelsat 3 spacecraft were used to relay commercial global telecommunications including live TV. More...
  • TACSAT American communications technology satellite. First launch 1969.02.09. TACSAT was designed to experimentally test and develop tactical communications concepts for all US military services. More...
  • ATS-5 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1969.08.12, ATS 5. More...
  • NATO 1 British military communications satellite. 4 launches, 1969.11.22 (Skynet 1A) to 1971.02.03 (NATO 2). Military communications. More...
  • DSP American military early warning satellite. 23 launches, 1970.11.06 (IMEWS 1) to 2007.11.11 (USA 176). An evolving series of satellites built by the United States to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles on launch. More...
  • Intelsat 4 American communications satellite. 8 launches, 1971.01.26 (Intelsat 4 F-2) to 1975.05.22 (Intelsat 4 F-1). The Intelsat 4 series continued the growth of the Intelsat communications network. More...
  • DSCS II American military communications satellite. 15 launches, 1971.11.03 (DSCS II-01) to 1982.10.30 (DSCS II-15). DSCS provided secure voice and data communications for the US military. More...
  • HS 333 American communications satellite. 8 launches, 1972.11.10 (Anik A1) to 1979.08.10 (Westar 3). The satellites, act as space repeaters capable of receiving transmissions from earth stations and retransmitting them to other earth stations in Canada. More...
  • Raduga First Soviet geosynchronous communications satellite. Operational, first launch 1974.03.26. A single orbital group of two Radugas could handle all communications of the Russian eastern regions. More...
  • SMS American earth weather satellite. 2 launches, 1974.05.17 (SMS 1) and 1975.02.06 (SMS 2). Synchronous Meteorological Satellite. More...
  • ATS-6 American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1974.05.30, ATS 6. In addition to its technology experiments, ATS-6 became the world's first educational satellite. More...
  • Symphonie French communications technology satellite. One launch, 1974.12.18. Experimental telecommunications satellite, constructed jointly by France and the Federal Republic of Germany. More...
  • Spacebus 100 French communications satellite. 12 launches, 1975.08.26 (Symphonie 2) to 1994.01.24 (Eutelsat II F5). 3-axis stabilized using bipropellant thrusters (750 kg propellant - unified with apogee insertion and maneuvering propulsion) and momentum wheels. More...
  • Intelsat 4A American communications satellite. 10 launches, 1975.09.26 (Intelsat 4A F-1) to 1981.02.21 (Comstar 4). Intelsat 4A satellites increased satellite capacity to 7250 voice circuits or 2 TV channels. More...
  • Prognoz SPRN Russian military early warning satellite. 15 launches, 1975.10.08 (Cosmos 775) to 2008.06.26 (Cosmos 2397). Development began of the Soviet Union's Prognoz geosynchronous ballistic missile early warning satellite in 1980. More...
  • GOES American earth weather satellite. 8 launches, 1975.10.16 (GOES 1) to 1987.02.26 (GOES 7). Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. More...
  • AS 1000 American communications satellite. 3 launches, 1975.12.13 (Satcom 1) to 1979.12.07 (RCA Satcom 3). More...
  • CTS Canadian communications satellite. One launch, 1976.01.17. Canadian Telecommunications Satellite project. Only one spacecraft launched. More...
  • Marisat American communications satellite. 3 launches, 1976.02.19 (Marisat 1) to 1976.10.14 (Marisat 3). Maritime communications. More...
  • NATO 3 British military communications satellite. 4 launches, 1976.04.22 (NATO 3A) to 1984.11.14 (NATO 3D). Military communications. More...
  • Ekran Russian communications satellite. 21 launches, 1976.10.26 (Ekran 1) to 1988.05.06 (Ekran 18). Ekran was the Soviet Union's first geosynchronous satellite. More...
  • GMS Japanese earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1977.07.14 (Himawari 1) to 1995.03.18 (Himawari 5). The Geostationary Meteorological Satellite series were spin-stabilized satellites. More...
  • Sirio Italian communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1977.08.25 (Sirio 1) and 1982.09.09 (Sirio 2). SIRIO was a spin stabilized geostationary experimental communications satellite with a nominal life of two years. More...
  • ECS/OTS European communications satellite. 20 launches, 1977.09.13 (OTS 1) to 2001.02.07 (Skynet 4F). More...
  • Meteosat European earth weather satellite. 7 launches, 1977.11.23 (Meteosat 1) to 1997.09.02 (Meteosat 7). More...
  • CS-1 Japanese communications satellite. One launch, 1977.12.15, Sakura. This Medium-capacity Communications Satellite for Experimental Purposes was a spin stabilized geostationary communications satellite. More...
  • IUE American ultraviolet astronomy satellite. One launch, 1978.01.26. More...
  • FLTSATCOM American military communications satellite. 8 launches, 1978.02.09 (Fltsatcom 1) to 1989.09.25 (USA 46). More...
  • Yuri Japanese communications technology satellite. One launch, 1978.04.07. Medium-scale broadcasting satellite for experimental purposes. More...
  • OTS European communications technology satellite. Study 1978. Communications experiments satellite of the European Space Agency. More...
  • Chalet American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 6 launches, 1978.06.10 (Chalet 1) to 1989.05.10 (USA 37). Geosynchronous orbit signals intelligence satellite series that replaced Canyon. Also called Program 366 and Vortex. More...
  • Anik Canadian communications satellite. 2 launches, 1978.12.15 (Anik B1 (Telesat 4)) and (DRIMS). Function - telecommunications. Operating entity - Telesat Canada. More...
  • Gorizont Russian communications satellite. 35 launches, 1978.12.19 (Gorizont 1) to 2000.06.06 (Gorizont). Gorizont-1 was designed specifically to support broadcast of the 1980 Olympic Games from Russia. More...
  • Ayame Japanese communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1979.02.06 (Ayame 1) and 1980.02.22 (Ayame 2). Experimental Communications Satellite (ECS). Communications and propagation experiments of satellite-communication systems. More...
  • HS 376 American communications satellite. 56 launches, 1980.11.15 (SBS 1) to 2003.09.27 (E-Bird). Mass 654 kg at beginning-of-life in geosynchronous orbit. Spin stabilized at 50 rpm by 4 hydrazine thrusters with 136 kg propellant. More...
  • Intelsat 5 American communications satellite. 9 launches, 1980.12.06 (Intelsat 5 F-2) to 1984.06.09 (Intelsat 5 F-9). The last five of the nine spacecraft in this block carry a maritime mobile payload (seven additional transponders) for lease by Inmarsat. More...
  • Insat 1 Indian communications satellite. 5 launches, 1981.06.19 (Apple) to 1990.06.12 (Insat-1D; Insat 1D). Experimental communications satellite. More...
  • AS 3000 American communications satellite. 25 launches, 1981.11.20 (RCA Satcom 4; RCA Satcom 3R) to 1996.01.14 (Koreasat 2). More...
  • Estafeta Russian military communications satellite. Study 1982. Military nuclear powered communications satellite. Development approved by the Soviet VPK Military-Industrial Commission on 8 January 1982. More...
  • Potok Russian military communications satellite. 10 launches, 1982.05.18 (Cosmos 1366) to 2000.07.04 (Cosmos 2371). Potok was one element of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) developed according to a decree of 17 February 1976. More...
  • DSCS III American military communications satellite. 15 launches, 1982.10.30 (DSCS III-01) to 2003.08.29 (USA 170). DSCS satellites provided secure voice and data communications for the US military. More...
  • CS-2 Japanese communications satellite. 2 launches, 1983.02.04 (Sakura 2A) to 1983.08.05 (Sakura 2B). Business communications. Launching organization NASDA (National Space Development Agency of Japan). More...
  • TDRS American military communications satellite. 7 launches, 1983.04.04 (TDRS 1) to 1995.07.13 (TDRS 7). Satellite communications network, for use by Shuttle and US military satellites. More...
  • DFH-2 Chinese military communications satellite. 7 launches, 1984.01.29 (STTW-T1) to 1991.12.28 (Zhongxing-4). The DFH-2 was a spin-stabilized, drum-shaped military communications satellite with a despun antenna, a diameter of 2.1 m, and a height of 3.1 m. More...
  • HS 381 American military communications satellite. 4 launches, 1984.08.30 (Syncom IV-2) to 1985.08.27 (Syncom IV-4). The Leasat HS 381 series was developed as a commercial venture to provide dedicated communications services to the U. S. military. More...
  • Energia Orbital Debris Remover Russian earth environment satellite. Study 1984. A 15 metric ton maneuverable satellite, consisting of an engine unit and a satellite collection mechanism, would maneuver at geosynchronous altitude in orbits with inclinations of between 0 and 14 degrees. More...
  • Globis Russian communications satellite. Studied 1984-1994. Lox/LH2 upper stages launched by Energia would put 21 metric ton communications satellites into geosynchronous orbit. More...
  • Magnum American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 3 launches, 1985.01.24 (USA 8) to 1990.11.15 (USA 67). Shuttle-launched geostationary ELINT satellite model that replaced Rhyolite/Aquacade. More...
  • 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. More...
  • ASC British military communications satellite. 3 launches, 1985.08.27 (ASC-1) to 1991.04.13 (ASC-2 / Spacenet F4). More...
  • Luch Russian military communications satellite. 5 launches, 1985.10.25 (Cosmos 1700) to 1995.10.11 (Luch 1). More...
  • AS 4000 American communications satellite. 8 launches, 1985.11.27 (Satcom K2) to 1998.02.04 (Inmarsat 3 F5). 3-axis stabilization with momentum wheels, magnetic torquers, Earth sensors and 16 blowdown monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. More...
  • Ekran-M Russian communications satellite. 6 launches, 1987.01.30 (Cosmos 1817) to 2001.04.07 (Ekran-M No. 18). Ekran-M provided unique direct television broadcasting service to community users in the central Russian Federation region (Zone 3). More...
  • Spacebus 300 French communications satellite. 5 launches, 1987.11.21 (TVSAT 1) to 1990.07.24 (TDF 2). 3-axis stabilized using bipropellant thrusters (1220 kg propellant - unified with apogee insertion and maneuvering propulsion) and momentum wheels. More...
  • CS-3 Japanese communications satellite. 2 launches, 1988.02.19 (Sakura 3A) to 1988.09.16 (Sakura 3B). To continue communications services provided by the communications satellite 2 (CS-2). To meet increasing and diversifying demands for communications. More...
  • Eurostar 2000 French communications satellite. 24 launches, 1988.03.11 (Telecom 1C) to 2006.11.08 (Badr 4 ARABSAT 4B). More...
  • HS 393 American communications satellite. 7 launches, 1989.03.06 (JCSAT 1) to 1991.10.29 (Intelsat 6A F-1). Domestic communication. Launching states: Japan, France, USA. At the time, these were the largest commercial spacecraft ever built. More...
  • FS-1300 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1989.06.05. More...
  • Raduga-1 Russian communications satellite. 8 launches, 1989.06.21 (Raduga 1-1) to 2007.12.09 (Raduga-1). The Raduga-1 geosynchronous communications satellite was to have been the basis for the YeSSS-2 second generation Unified Satellite Communication System. More...
  • Olympus European communications technology satellite. One launch, 1989.07.12. This communications technology demonstration satellite tested direct television broadcast beams and was also equipped with conventional communications transponders. More...
  • Hipparcos European visible astronomy satellite. One launch, 1989.08.08. Scientific satellite for astrometry. Didn't reach GEO due to AKM failure; measured star positions. Frequency plan 2054.25 /2241 MHz. Launch time 2325:53 UT. Designator ESA/89/03. More...
  • HS 601 American communications satellite bus. First launch 1990.01.09. 3-axis unified ARC 22 N and one Marquardt 490 N bipropellant thrusters, Sun and Barnes Earth sensors and two 61 Nms 2-axis gimbaled momentum bias wheels. More...
  • SECS/OTS British military communications satellite. Study 1990. United Kingdom military communications satellite; 1 deg W. Owner/operator: UK Ministry of Defense. Expected operational life 10 years. More...
  • Eurostar 1000 French communications satellite. 4 launches, 1990.10.30 (Inmarsat 2 F1) to 1992.04.15 (Inmarsat 2 F4). The Eurostar 1000 platform was the first generation of Matra Marconi Space GEO satellite platforms serving mainly commercial telecoms applications. More...
  • SovCanStar Russian communications satellite. Study 1990. One of the early Russian-Western satellite programs was SovCanStar, a 1990 joint venture with Canada. More...
  • Italsat Italian communications satellite. 6 launches, 1991.01.15 (Italsat 1) to 2009-04-20. More...
  • AS 5000 American communications satellite. 4 launches, 1991.03.02 (Astra 1B) to 1992.06.10 (Intelsat K). 3-axis stabilization with momentum wheels, magnetic torquers, Earth sensors and 20 blowdown monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. More...
  • Zerkalo Russian communications satellite. In 1991 Lavochkin NPO teamed up with NOOS Space Technologies Ltd. Of Moscow to develop the Zerkalo spacecraft and telecommunications system. More...
  • Insat 2 Indian communications satellite. 5 launches, 1992.07.09 (Insat-2A) to 1999.04.02 (Insat 2E). More...
  • Forpost Russian military communications satellite. Study 1992. Communications satellite - Soviet Ministry of Defense. No other details available. More...
  • ACTS American communications technology satellite. One launch, 1993.09.12. NASA experimental communications; Advanced Communications Technology Satellite. More...
  • AS 7000 American communications satellite. 13 launches, 1993.12.16 (Telstar 401) to 1998.06.18 (Intelsat 805). 3-axis stabilized. Two large solar panels with 1-axis articulation. More...
  • Gals Russian communications satellite. 2 launches, 1994.01.20 (Gals) and 1995.11.17 (Gals-2). Direct broadcasting satellite (new generation of satellites) intended for development of the Russian television system and international cooperation. More...
  • Spacebus 2000 French communications satellite. 5 launches, 1994.01.24 (Turksat 1A) to 1997.01.30 (Nahuel 1A). More...
  • VEP Japanese technology satellite. 2 launches, 1994.02.03 (VEP) and 2001.08.29 (VEP-2). Monitored H-2 launch vehicle performance. National name MYOJO. More...
  • Milstar American military communications satellite. 6 launches, 1994.02.07 (USA 99) to 2003.04.08 (USA 169). Milstar was a series of advanced US military communications satellites designed to provide global jam-resistant communications for military users. More...
  • DFH-3 Chinese military communications satellite using indigenous technologies. Operational, first launch 1994.02.08. More...
  • GOES-Next American earth weather satellite. 3 launches, 1994.04.13 (GOES 8) to 1997.04.25 (GOES 10). Geostationary Environmental Satellite. More...
  • HS 376W American communications satellite. 4 launches, 1994.08.10 (Brasilsat B1) to 2000.08.17 (Brasilsat B-4). Based on Hughes HS-376, single antenna on despun platform, spin stabilized, hydrazine thrusters, body mounted solar cells provide 982 W BOL. More...
  • Mercury ELINT American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 3 launches, 1994.08.27 (USA 105) to 1998.08.12 (Mercury ELINT). Class of heavy signals intelligence satellites introduced at the end of the 1990's. More...
  • Ekspress Russian communications satellite. 15 launches, 1994.10.13 to 2009-02-11. The Ekspress series communications satellite closely resembled the Gals spacecraft and shared a similar spacecraft bus. More...
  • Elektro Russian earth weather satellite. One launch, 1994.10.31. Elektro was to be the geostationary component of a third generation Soviet meteorological system. Following extended development, it flew only once, in 1994. More...
  • Geostar-MSS Russian communications satellite. Study 1994. The Lavochkin Geostar-MSS communications system was designed in association with Moscow NII Radio-communications. More...
  • Advanced Orion American military naval signals intelligence and reconnaisance satellite. Highly classified, operational, first launch 1995.05.14. More...
  • Gelikon Russian communications satellite. Study 1995. An early Applied Mechanics NPO plan to replace Gorizont and Ekran spacecraft revolved around the Gelikon project. More...
  • Signal Russian communications satellite. Study 1995. The RKK Energia and Polyot PO teamed up with other industries to propose the Signal constellation of low earth orbit communications satellites. More...
  • AMOS Israeli communications satellite. 3 launches, 1996.05.16 (AMOS) to 2008.04.28 (Amos-2). 7 Ku-band transponders. Israeli indigenous communications satellite program. More...
  • AS 2100 American communications satellite. Operational, first launch 1996.09.08 (GE 1). Cost per satellite $100 million for the spacecraft including ground support equipment, but not including launch costs. 3-axis stabilized. More...
  • Arkos Russian communications satellite. Study 1996. Applied Mechanics' Arkos satellite was to have served as the geosynchronous anchor of the Marathon telecommunications network, while the highly elliptical Mayak spacecraft completed the system. More...
  • FY-2 Chinese earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1997.06.10 (FY-2A) to 2008.12.23 (FY-2C). The Feng Yun 2 spin-stabilized geosynchronous meteorological spacecraft was slightly more massive than China's DFH-2 communications satellite. More...
  • Falcon Gold American navigation technology satellite. One launch, 1997.10.25. US Air Force Academy experiment to demonstrate use of GPS navigation in geosynchronous orbit. More...
  • Kupon Russian military communications satellite. One launch, 1997.11.12. Kupon was originally developed by Lavochkin for the third generation GKKRS (Global Space Command and Communications System). Other satellites in the network included Potok and Geizer. More...
  • Star bus American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1997.11.12 (Cakrawarta 1). The Orbital Star bus was designed for reliable and robust performance in a variety of LEO and GEO missions. More...
  • Yamal Russian communications satellite. 4 launches, 1999.09.06 (Yamal 101) to 2003.11.24 (Yamal-200 KA-2). The Yamal communications satellite bus was developed by RKK Energia for Gazprom. More...
  • LMI Russian communications satellite. One launch, 1999.09.26. Lockheed Martin Intersputnik's LMI-1 satellite was a joint Russian-American venture. LMI-1 provided communications services to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. More...
  • HS 702 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launched 1999.12.22. More...
  • Insat 3 Indian communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2000.03.21. The multipurpose satellite design provided telecommunications, television broadcasting, meteorological and search and rescue services. More...
  • Beidou Chinese navigation satellite. Operational, first launch 2000.10.30. Beidou ('Big Dipper') was the satellite component of an independent Chinese satellite navigation and positioning system. More...
  • GSat Indian communications satellite bus. First launch 2001.04.18. More...
  • Eurostar 3000 French communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2005.03.11 (Inmarsat 4-F1). Third generation of Matra Marconi Space GEO satellite platforms serving mainly commercial telecommunications applications. More...
  • Yakhta Russian communications satellite. One launch, 2006.06.17, Kazsat 1. RKK Energia-developed communications satellite, believed to be a larger development of the Yamal. More...
  • Mitex American military anti-satellite system. 3 launched, 2006.06.21 (USA 187) to (USA 189). More...
  • DFH-4 Large Chinese communications satellite bus using a blend of Chinese and subcontracted European technologies. Operational, first launch on 2006.10.28 (Xinnuo 2). More...
  • 20.20 American communications satellite. Design of 2008, provided greater digital communications capacity by integrating next-generation technologies with the proven reliability of traditional concepts and products of the FS 1300 series. More...
  • Zohreh Iranian communications satellite. In development, 2008. Iranian geosynchronous communications satellite that was to be built with Russian assistance, containing an Alcatel communications payload. More...

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