Satélites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. (SATMEX)
Satélites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. aka SatMex was a satellite operator controlling three satellites at contiguous positions, 115° W (SATMEX-5), 113° W (SATMEX-6) and 117° W (SATMEX-8) that covers 90% of the population of the Americas. The SATMEX-7 and -9 satellite are scheduled for launch in 2015. SATMEX was acquired by Eutelsat in 2014 and is now controlling the SATMEX satellites under the name Eutelsat Americas.
In 1968 Mexico became a subscriber of the Intelsat system and the first Mexican satellite facilities in the state of Hidalgo were built. Also this year the transmission of the Olympic Games was made through color television.
In 1982 he Communications and Transports Secretary (SCT) hires Hughes (Boeing) to build the Mexican satellite system "Morelos" (two HS-376 geostationary satellites, stabilized by rotation).
In June 17th, 1985 the Morelos-1 satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral USA aboard of the manned 51-G mission of NASA.
The satellite reached successfully the 113° W orbital position and covered the Mexican territory. In the same year the construction of Iztapalapa Control Center, located in Mexico City, started.
On November 27th also in 1985 the Morelos-2 satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral aboard of the shuttle Atlantis on NASA's manned mission 61-B, in which the first Mexican astronaut participated. The satellite was put in the orbital position of 116.8° W with national coverage.
In 1989 Telecomm (Mexico Telecommunications) was created, a decentralized body, and became the Morelos Satellite System Operator.
In May 1991 Telecomm hired Hughes for the construction of the Solidaridad Satellites. It consisted of two HS-601 geostationary satellites (Solidaridad-1 & Solidaridad-2) with tri-axial stabilization, which were designed to provide C-band services in México, the southern US and the rest of Latin America, with Ku-band services in Mexico and the USA.
On November 19th 1993 the Solidaridad-1 satellite was launched on an Ariane 4 from Kourou, French Guyana. The satellite reached successfully its orbital position of 110° W.
The Ariane 4 launched also the Solidaridad-2 satellite from Kourou in French Guyana on October 7th, 1994. The satellite successfully reached its orbital position at 113° W. Earlier that year, in May, the Satellite Control Center in Hermosillo was opened.
In 1995 and 1996 the privatization process of the Fixed Satellite Services sector of Telecomm Company started.
In 1997 Hughes was requested to build the Morelos-3, aka SATMEX-5 with coverage for the C- and Ku-band throughout the Americas. On June 26th in the same year the Fixed Satellite Services section of Telecomm was registered under Mexican law and was constituted as the company Satélites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. (SATMEX). The company was still owned by the Mexican State. After performing a public tenure, the alliance integrated by Principia and Loral Space & Communications acquires 75% of SATMEX and the Mexican government owned 25%.
Following that year, n 1998, the new management team was incorporated to the company as well as new administration tools and executive management was integrated to consolidate the new SATMEX.
On December 5th, SATMEX-5 was launched into space aboard of the Ariane 4L launch vehicle from Kourou in French Guyana.
In 2000 the company was operating more globally which resulted in the growth of revenue base and participation in financial and industry forums. In the same year the Solidaridad-1 satellite suffered again from failures in the SCP’s (Satellite Control Processors) that lead to total loss of the spacecraft.
In 2001 SATMEX was certified with ISO 9001:2000 certification in Engineering and Satellite Operations including the Traffic and Customer Support Departments.
In 2009 the company developed and implemented the first Strategic Map, which consolidated the company's strategic objectives for the next five years. SATMEX wanted to become one of the preeminent satellite companies in the world by efficiently employing its resources for the benefit of the company and its shareholders.
This restructuring process of SATMEX started in 2010. In the same year the construction of the SATMEX-8 satellite was started. SATMEX-8 was built to replace SATMEX-5 that will reach EOL.
In 2012 SATMEX and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) signed a joint acquisition for the launch of four satellites on board of their launch vehicles. In the same year the construction of SATMEX-7 by Boeing started.
On 2 January 2014 Eutelsat Communications, headquartered in Paris, France, acquired 100% share in Satélites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. (SATMEX) for a $831 million transaction. SATMEX was renamed in Eutelsat Americas. With the acquisition Eutelsat was expanding significantly its capacity in the Americas.
www.satellitetoday.com edition 2nd Jan 2014