The Mission and Spacecraft Library

Intelsat 3

Part of the Intelsat program

Intelsat 3 picture Intelsat 3 spacecraft were used to relay commercial global telecommunications including live TV. Three of the 8 satellites in the series (F1, F5, F8) were unusable due to launch vehicle failures, and most of the remainder did not achieve their desired lifetimes. F2 operated for 1.5 years, F3 was partially operational for 7 years, F4 lasted 3 years, F6 survived 2 years, and F7 remained usable for 16 years.

Spin stabilized with a despun antenna structure (34 inch tall antenna). Hydrazine propulsion system with 4 thrusters and 4 tanks. Passive thermal control. Body mounted solar cells produced 178 W peak, 9 AHr NiCd batteries.

Two transponders using 12 watt TWTA amplifiers. Multiple access. 1500 voice circuits or 4 TV channels.

Country of Origin International
Customer/User ITSO
Manufacturer(s) TRW
Size Cylinder: 104 cm long x 142 cm diameter
Orbit All intended to go to geosynchronous. / F2: GEO over Atlantic / F3: GEO over Indian Ocean / F4: GEO over Pacific / F5: 252 x 1301 km, incl. = 30.3 deg / F6: GEO over Atlantic / F7: GEO over Atlantic / F8: 19400 x 36030 km incl. = 13.3 deg
Design Life 5 years

Launch Facts
 Name  Int'l Desig.  Date  Site  Vehicle  Orbit  Mass(kg)
 Intelsat 3 F-1  none  9/18/68  ESMC  Delta M  FTO  293
    Control system failure; destroyed by range safety
 Intelsat 3 F-2  1968-116A  12/19/68  ESMC  Delta M  GEO  293
    Over Brazil
 Intelsat 3 F-3  1969-011A  2/6/69  ESMC  Delta M  GEO  293
    63 deg E
 Intelsat 3 F-4  1969-045A  5/22/69  ESMC  Delta M  GEO  293
    174 deg E
 Intelsat 3 F-5  1969-064A  7/26/69  ESMC  Delta M  LEO  269
    3rd stage failure; left in unusable orbit
 Intelsat 3 F-6  1970-003A  1/15/70  ESMC  Delta M  GEO  293
    336 deg E
 Intelsat 3 F-7  1970-032A  4/23/70  ESMC  Delta M  GEO  293
    341 deg E
 Intelsat 3 F-8  1970-055A  7/23/70  ESMC  Delta M  HEO  270
    Unusable orbit

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