Intelsat-906 (IS-906) at 64° East
|Space Systems/Loral (SS/L)
Nine Intelsat-9 satellites, improved and more powerful versions of its nine Intelsat-7/7A spacecraft, were built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L). They replaced the Intelsat-6 satellites, to provide enhanced voice, video and data transmission services across the globe. The contract called for SS/L to design, build, and deliver the spacecraft to the launch site in the years 2000 and 2001 and contains options for one additional satellite.
The increased power and efficiency of the new Intelsat-9 satellites provided better coverage and stronger signals to help satisfy the burgeoning global appetite for digital services, smaller earth stations, and specialized Intelsat communications services. These spacecrafts serviced the Indian and Atlantic Ocean regions.
The new satellites each carried 44 transponders in the C-band and 12 in the Ku-band, and generate more than 8kW (End of Life). These spacecrafts carry a much greater number of high-power amplifiers and generate more solar array power than their predecessors with only a small increase in dry mass. Major subcontractors include Alcatel Telecom of France, Alenia of Italy, (both merged to Thales Alenia Space), DASA of Germany and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) from Japan.
After retirement, Intelsat-901 will be the first geostationary satellite to receive a five-year life-extension by the MEV-1 satellite-servicing mission in 2019.
Intelsat-906 was successfully launched on September 6th, 2002, on an Ariane 44L rocket, operated by launch operator Arianespace, from the Kourou Space Port in French Guyana.