Galaxy 15 'HD-enabled' Satellite Successfully Launched
October 19, 2005
An Ariane 5 rocket carried PanAmSat's Galaxy 15 satellite into space at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 from a launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Galaxy 15 not only includes a C-band payload, but an L-band payload to transmit signals used by the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to improve the accuracy of the GPS signals. These are used by in-flight aircraft and others with WAAS-enabled GPS receivers.
PanAmSat said that Galaxy 15, located at 133 degrees west longitude, will be part of the first and largest cable neighborhood of satellites in the U.S. The satellite will also be part of PanAmSat's Galaxy HD high-definition satellite neighborhood. Galaxy 15 customers include HBO, Cinemax, AMC, Cartoon Network, Classic Arts Network, Disney, Encore, ESPN, EWTN, Goodlife, The Inspiration Network, Fox, Shop NBC, Stars, TCM, Turner, CNN and USA Networks.
Orbital Sciences Corporation built the satellite for PanAmSat. It is a Star 2 Bus model with 24 36-MHz wide C-band transponders and two L-band transponders. PanAmSat said, "The satellite will put out more than double the power of its predecessors, ready to play a pivotal role in the complete digital delivery of programming in the U.S."
Joe Wright, CEO of PanAmSat, said, "PanAmSat is known for combining emerging technologies and innovative services to give our customers a competitive edge. By coupling C-band and L- band on the same satellite, we have further strengthened our U.S. cable television offerings and expanded our government business in an area of extreme importance: air passenger safety. As with all of our recent satellites, this will also be a great investment for our shareholders since this satellite is nearly sold-out, with the C-band transponders leased to the biggest names in cable television programming." He added that the satellite was designed for very high power operation and had fully redundant systems, ensuring superior HDTV performance. Wright noted also that this was the first time his company had launched a satellite with transponders for both commercial and government frequencies.
For additional information ,see the PanAmSat press release and the PanAmSat Galaxy 16 Web page.