Encyclopedia Astronautica
Telstar


Network of communications satellites, operated by AT&T Skynet, later Loral Skynet, Bedminster.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • 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...
  • FS-1300 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1989.06.05. 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...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Delta 3920/PAM American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4A + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...
  • Ariane 42L French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Atlas IIAS American orbital launch vehicle. The Atlas II booster was 2.7-meters longer than the Atlas I and included uprated Rocketdyne MA-5A engines. The Atlas I vernier engines were replaced with a hydrazine roll control system. The Centaur stage was stretched 0.9-meters compared to the Centaur I stage. Fixed foam insulation replaced Atlas I's jettisonable insulation panels. Higher performance RL10A-4 or RL10A-4-1 engines replaced Atlas II's RL10A-3-3A. The Atlas IIAS model added four Thiokol Castor IVA solid rocket boosters (SRBs) to the core Atlas stage to augment thrust for the first two minutes of flight. More...
  • Proton-K/DM-2M This four stage version uses the Block DM-2M / 11S861-01 upper stage, which has its own self-contained guidance unit. This reduces payload but does not require the spacecraft's guidance system to provide steering commands to booster. Used for launches of Russian geosynchronous satellites from 1994 on. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ATT American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. American Telephone and Telegraph, USA. More...
  • Palo Alto American manufacturer of rockets. Palo Alto, Palo Alto, California, USA. More...

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...
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. 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...

Telstar Chronology


1983 July 28 - . 22:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3920/PAM. LV Configuration: Delta 3920/PAM D171.
  • Telstar 3A - . Payload: Telstar 301 -> Arabsat 1E. Mass: 625 kg (1,377 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. Completed Operations Date: 1996-09-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 14234 . COSPAR: 1983-077A. Apogee: 36,108 km (22,436 mi). Perigee: 35,885 km (22,297 mi). Inclination: 6.5000 deg. Period: 1,446.80 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 96 deg W in 1983-1985; 105 deg W in 1985; 96 deg W in 1985-1994; 107 deg W in 1994; 20 deg E in 1995-1996 As of 5 September 2001 located at 143.88 deg W drifting at 2.714 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 158.94W drifting at 2.690W degrees per day.

1984 August 30 - . 12:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle 41-D.
  • Telstar 3C - . Payload: Telstar 302 [PAM-D]. Mass: 625 kg (1,377 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. Completed Operations Date: 1997-09-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 15237 . COSPAR: 1984-093D. Apogee: 35,948 km (22,337 mi). Perigee: 35,901 km (22,307 mi). Inclination: 5.7000 deg. Period: 1,443.20 min. Released from STS 41D 9/1/84; stationed at 125 deg W. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 86 deg W in 1984-1987; 85 deg W in 1987-1997; 97 deg W in 1997 As of 26 August 2001 located at 148.40 deg W drifting at 1.778 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 128.46W drifting at 1.794W degrees per day.

1985 June 17 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle 51-G.
  • Telstar 3D - . Payload: Telstar 303 / PAM-D. Mass: 630 kg (1,380 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. Completed Operations Date: 1999-02-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 15826 . COSPAR: 1985-048D. Apogee: 35,911 km (22,314 mi). Perigee: 35,888 km (22,299 mi). Inclination: 5.4000 deg. Period: 1,441.90 min. Released by STS 51G 19 June 1985; stationed at 76 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 125 deg W in 1985-1992; 123 deg W in 1992-1996; 120 deg W in 1996-1999 As of 31 August 2001 located at 16.95 deg W drifting at 1.400 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 6.47W drifting at 1.400W degrees per day.

1993 December 16 - . 00:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIAS. LV Configuration: Atlas IIAS AC-108 / Centaur II 8201.
  • Telstar 401 - . Mass: 3,375 kg (7,440 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 7000. Completed Operations Date: 1997-01-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 22927 . COSPAR: 1993-077A. Apogee: 35,821 km (22,258 mi). Perigee: 35,759 km (22,219 mi). Inclination: 4.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min. Stationed at 97 deg W. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit with IFR trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 97 deg W in 1994-1997 As of 5 September 2001 located at 100.42 deg W drifting at 0.039 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 97.36W drifting at 0.024W degrees per day.

1994 September 9 - . 00:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42L. LV Configuration: Ariane 42L+ V67.
  • Telstar 402 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Arianespace. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 7000. Decay Date: 2004-11-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 23249 . COSPAR: 1994-058A. Apogee: 19,340 km (12,010 mi). Perigee: 292 km (181 mi). Inclination: 7.1000 deg. Period: 341.80 min.

1995 September 24 - . 00:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42L. LV Configuration: Ariane 42L+ V78.
  • Telstar 402R - . Mass: 3,410 kg (7,510 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 7000. USAF Sat Cat: 23670 . COSPAR: 1995-049A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Direct TV for continental US. Stationed at 89.0 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 89 deg W in 1995-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 88.96 deg W drifting at 0.003 deg W per day. The Telstar 4 (former Telstar 402R) satellite suffered a power failure on September 19 2003 and was a total loss. It was part of AT&T's satellite fleet, later sold to Loral Skynet by 2003 in the process of being sold to Intelsat. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 116.15W drifting at 0.086W degrees per day.

1997 May 24 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2M. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2M (DM4) 380-02.
  • Telstar 5 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Skynet. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 24812 . COSPAR: 1997-026A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Geosynchronous. Stationed over 97.0W Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 97 deg W in 1997-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 96.99 deg W drifting at 0.006 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 97.04W drifting at 0.005W degrees per day..

1999 February 15 - . 05:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2M. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2M (DM3) 396-01.
  • Telstar 6 - . Mass: 3,700 kg (8,100 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Skynet. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 25626 . COSPAR: 1999-005A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Loral Skynet's Telstar 6 had a mixed C and Ku band communications payload. The Block DM3 upper stage released Telstar 6 in a 6638 km x 35,756 km x 17.4 degree geosynchronous transfer orbit. After the first burn of its on-board R-4D engine on February 18, Telstar 6 was in a 15,037 km x 35,800 km x 7.9 deg transfer orbit heading for its final geosynchronous slot at 93 deg W Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 93 deg W in 1999. As of 2 September 2001 located at 93.01 deg W drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 93.03W drifting at 0.007W degrees per day.

1999 September 25 - . 06:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP-3 V121.
  • Telstar 7 - . Mass: 3,790 kg (8,350 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Skynet. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 25922 . COSPAR: 1999-052A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Telstar 7, owned by Loral Skynet, had 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders. Dry mass was 1537 kg. After placement in final geosynchronous orbit it provided communications for North America from a position at 129 degrees East longitude. Sold to Intelsat in March 2004 and renamed IA-7. The satellite had a power failure on November 28, 2004 and was briefly declared lost. Intelsat recovered control of the satellite by December 4. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 129.01W drifting at 0.007W degrees per day.

2009 February 26 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC45/1. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-3SLB. LV Configuration: Zenit-3SLB s/n LL2.
  • Telstar 11N - . Mass: 4,012 kg (8,844 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: SIS. Program: Telstar. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 34111 . COSPAR: 2009-009A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ku-band direct-broadcast satellite with 39 high-power transponders covering North and Central America, Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean Region, stationed at 37.5 degrees..

2011 May 20 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton/Briz M. LV Configuration: Proton-M/Briz-M.
  • Telstar 14R - . Mass: 4,970 kg (10,950 lb). Nation: USA. Program: Telstar. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. COSPAR: 2011-021A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ku-band direct-broadcast satellite providing satellite television to Brazil. Failed to fully deploy one of its solar arrays..

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