Intelsat’s latest satellite, I-39, has arrived at French Guiana for pre-launch work ahead of its launch, currently scheduled for July 24th.
I-39 was built by Maxar Technologies at its Palo Alto facility (formerly Space Systems/Loral, now part of Maxar).
Intelsat 39 is the 52nd satellite built by Maxar for its long-term customer, Intelsat. The Intelsat, Arianespace and Maxar teams in Kourou will now prepare the satellite for launch on an Ariane 5 rocket, which is currently scheduled for July 24th.
Once it reaches its final destination at 62 degrees East, the satellite will provide broadband and video distribution services across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The satellite will also enhance mobile connectivity for aero, maritime and government users operating in the Indian Ocean region.
Intelsat 39 will replace the Intelsat 902 satellite, which was also built by Maxar and launched in 2001. By the time of its replacement by Intelsat 39, Intelsat 902 will have exceeded its expected 13-year design life by six years, or 45%, which is an impressive use of orbital resources.
The satellite has both C-band and Ku-band transponders, and will use hybrid electric and chemical propulsion to reach its desired orbit, where it is designed to provide service for a minimum of 15 years. Once on-orbit, the satellite will maintain its position using all-electric propulsion, which provides efficiency for satellite operators by reducing launch mass while increasing spacecraft flexibility and performance.