Press Release

PanAmSat Launches A New Satellite To Provide High Power Cable Television Distribution And Support Key U.S. Government Requirements

By SpaceRef Editor
October 16, 2005
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PanAmSat announced today that its new Galaxy 15 satellite successfully rocketed into space at 7:30 p.m. ET. Propelled by an Ariane 5 rocket, the spacecraft is a first for PanAmSat, as it carries a dual C-band and L-band payload that will allow the Company to expand its leadership position in HDTV and video distribution for its key cable programmers as well as to drive new government-related business. To be located at 133 degrees west longitude, the satellite is the third of PanAmSat’s next-generation satellites from Orbital Sciences Corporation, providing coverage of all 50 U.S. states.

Through its high-power C-band payload, Galaxy 15 will deliver industry- leading video programming for America’s premier television programmers. In addition, the L-band payload will provide navigation signals to in-flight aircraft as part of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Geostationary Communications and Control Segment (GCCS), an initiative being developed by Lockheed Martin.

“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,” said Joe Wright, CEO, PanAmSat. “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. And with its very high power and industry-best levels of redundancy, it is designed to deliver the latest technological advances in video, including superior performance for HDTV transmission and the emerging use of IPTV and VOD for program and network distribution.”

Added Wright, “This is the first time PanAmSat has combined capacity designed for the Government and is using its frequencies on a commercial satellite. Consequently, hosting the L-band payload for Lockheed Martin is an important achievement for us as the U.S. Government is the largest customer for satellite services in the world and is expected to grow substantially faster than the rest of the industry. We also see the opportunity for duplicating ‘hybrid’ commercial/government payloads into future satellite designs.”

Galaxy 15 joins the first and largest cable neighborhood of satellites in the Unites States. PanAmSat supports the industry’s leading high-definition neighborhood-Galaxy HD-from these satellites. PanAmSat is committed to maintaining its leadership position in the transmission of HD programming. Customers on the new state-of-the art satellite include: HBO, Cinemax, AMC, Cartoon Network, Classic Arts Network, Disney, Encore, ESPN, EWTN, Goodlife, The Inspiration Network, Fox, Shop NBC, Starz, TCM, Turner: CNN and USA Networks.

Built and custom-designed for PanAmSat by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Galaxy 15 is a 2033-kilogram Star 2 Bus model satellite with 24, 36-MHz C-band transponders and two L-band transponders. 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. Galaxy 15 will be supported by PanAmSat’s “Power of Five” antenna program, which provides qualified cable operators with simultaneous access to five Galaxy neighborhood satellites. Galaxy 15 replaces Galaxy 1R, which has successfully served the cable television marketplace from this prime orbital location since 1994.

The Galaxy 15 launch represents the first time PanAmSat has hosted an L- band payload on its satellite, indicating the importance of the increased use of commercial satellite capacity by the government sector. Through its L-band payload, Galaxy 15 will provide additional user signals to improve WAAS availability.

Among Galaxy 15’s highlights are:

  • PanAmSat’s first satellite with an L-band payload.
  • Part of PanAmSat’s premier U.S. Galaxy cable neighborhoods.
  • Third of PanAmSat’s next-generation satellites from Orbital Sciences
  • Advanced bus architecture with flight-proven hardware that offers increased downlink power at the edge of the coverage pattern.
  • PanAmSat’s 14th consecutive successful launch
  • PanAmSat’s 20th Arianespace launch

About PanAmSat

Through its owned and operated fleet of 26 satellites, PanAmSat (NYSE: PA – News) is a leading global provider of video, broadcasting and network distribution and delivery services. It transmits nearly 2,000 television channels worldwide and, as such, is the leading carrier of standard and high-definition signals. In total, the Company’s in-orbit fleet is capable of reaching over 98 percent of the world’s population through cable television systems, broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home operators, Internet service providers and telecommunications companies. In addition, PanAmSat supports the largest concentration of satellite-based business networks in the U.S., as well as specialized communications services in remote areas throughout the world. For more information, visit the Company’s web site at

SpaceRef staff editor.