Encyclopedia Astronautica
Satcom


Series of communications satellites started by RCA Americom in 1975 and continued by GE when it took over RCA.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • AS 1000 American communications satellite. 3 launches, 1975.12.13 (Satcom 1) to 1979.12.07 (RCA Satcom 3). More...
  • AS 3000 American communications satellite. 25 launches, 1981.11.20 (RCA Satcom 4; RCA Satcom 3R) to 1996.01.14 (Koreasat 2). More...
  • AS 4000 American communications satellite. 8 launches, 1985.11.27 (Satcom K2) to 1998.02.04 (Inmarsat 3 F5). 3-axis stabilization with momentum wheels, magnetic torquers, Earth sensors and 16 blowdown monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta 3914 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 + 1 x Star 37E More...
  • Delta 3910/PAM American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P + 1 x Star 48B More...
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Delta 3924 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 4A + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 37E More...
  • Ariane 44LP French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket + 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Ariane 42P French orbital launch vehicle. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons. More...
  • Delta 7925 American orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 9 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K + 1 x Star 48B More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

Satcom Chronology


1975 December 13 - . 01:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3914. LV Configuration: Delta 3914 607/D118.
  • Satcom 1 - . Mass: 464 kg (1,022 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 1000. Completed Operations Date: 1984-06-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 8476 . COSPAR: 1975-117A. Apogee: 36,076 km (22,416 mi). Perigee: 35,875 km (22,291 mi). Inclination: 12.8000 deg. Period: 1,445.80 min. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 135 deg W in 1976-1983; over the Americas at 119 deg W in 1983-1984; over the Pacific Ocean 139 deg W in 1984 As of 5 September 2001 located at 38.03 deg E drifting at 2.422 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 137.85W drifting at 2.426W degrees per day.

1976 March 26 - . 22:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3914. LV Configuration: Delta 3914 610/D121.
  • RCA Satcom 2 - . Payload: Satcom 2. Mass: 463 kg (1,020 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 1000. Completed Operations Date: 1985-01-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 8774 . COSPAR: 1976-029A. Apogee: 36,494 km (22,676 mi). Perigee: 36,016 km (22,379 mi). Inclination: 8.6000 deg. Period: 1,460.10 min. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 119 deg W in 1976-1984 over the Pacific Ocean 139 deg W in 1984-1985 As of 5 September 2001 located at 72.03 deg W drifting at 5.939 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 127.82W drifting at 5.942W degrees per day.

1979 December 7 - . 01:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3914. LV Configuration: Delta 3914 622/D150.
  • RCA Satcom 3 - . Payload: Satcom 3. Mass: 463 kg (1,020 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 1000. USAF Sat Cat: 11635 . COSPAR: 1979-101A. Apogee: 35,502 km (22,059 mi). Perigee: 8,306 km (5,161 mi). Inclination: 8.1000 deg. Period: 788.90 min. Summary: Failed before reaching geosynchronous orbit..

1981 November 20 - . 01:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3910/PAM. LV Configuration: Delta 3910/PAM 640/D158.
  • RCA Satcom 4; RCA Satcom 3R - . Payload: Satcom 3R. Mass: 1,078 kg (2,376 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1991-04-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 12967 . COSPAR: 1981-114A. Apogee: 35,840 km (22,260 mi). Perigee: 35,824 km (22,259 mi). Inclination: 8.2000 deg. Period: 1,438.40 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 131 deg W in 1981-1991 As of 3 September 2001 located at 86.96 deg W drifting at 0.634 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 140.04W drifting at 0.601W degrees per day..

1982 January 16 - . 01:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3910/PAM. LV Configuration: Delta 3910/PAM 643/D159.
  • RCA Satcom 4 - . Payload: Satcom 4. Mass: 1,082 kg (2,385 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1991-12-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 13035 . COSPAR: 1982-004A. Apogee: 35,994 km (22,365 mi). Perigee: 35,964 km (22,346 mi). Inclination: 1.9000 deg. Period: 1,446.00 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 83 deg W in 1982-1987; 82 deg W in 1987-1991 As of 2 September 2001 located at 171.96 deg E drifting at 2.443 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 101.04W drifting at 2.479W degrees per day..

1982 October 28 - . 01:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3924. LV Configuration: Delta 3924 652/D165.
  • Satcom 5 - . Payload: Aurora 1. Mass: 590 kg (1,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Alas. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1992-09-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 13631 . COSPAR: 1982-105A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 8.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 143 deg W in 1982-1991; 105 deg W in 1992-2007..

1983 April 11 - . 21:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3924. LV Configuration: Delta 3924 653/D167.
  • RCA Satcom 6 - . Payload: Satcom 1R. Mass: 2,385 kg (5,258 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1992-12-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 13984 . COSPAR: 1983-030A. Apogee: 35,953 km (22,340 mi). Perigee: 35,851 km (22,276 mi). Inclination: 7.0000 deg. Period: 1,442.00 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 139 deg W in 1983-1991; 131 deg W in 1991-1992 As of 5 September 2001 located at 148.59 deg W drifting at 1.499 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 90.26E drifting at 1.535W degrees per day..

1983 September 8 - . 22:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3924. LV Configuration: Delta 3924 D172.
  • RCA Satcom 7 - . Payload: Satcom 2R. Mass: 1,121 kg (2,471 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. Completed Operations Date: 1995-03-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 14328 . COSPAR: 1983-094A. Apogee: 36,095 km (22,428 mi). Perigee: 35,963 km (22,346 mi). Inclination: 5.7000 deg. Period: 1,448.50 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 72 deg W in 1983-1995 As of 4 September 2001 located at 143.00 deg E drifting at 3.084 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 40.27E drifting at 3.104W degrees per day..

1985 November 27 - . 00:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle 61-B.
  • Satcom K2 - . Payload: Satcom-K 2 / PAM-D2. Mass: 1,812 kg (3,994 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 16276 . COSPAR: 1985-109D. Apogee: 36,002 km (22,370 mi). Perigee: 35,944 km (22,334 mi). Inclination: 4.2000 deg. Period: 1,445.60 min. Released by STS 61B 11/28/85; 81 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 81 deg W in 1985-1996; 85 deg W in 1996-1997; 81 deg W in 1997-1999 As of 6 September 2001 located at 80.95 deg W drifting at 0.009 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 157.11W drifting at 2.398W degrees per day.

1986 January 12 - . 11:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle 61-C.
  • Satcom K1 - . Payload: Satcom-K 1 / PAM-D2. Mass: 1,923 kg (4,239 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: RCA Amer. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 4000. Completed Operations Date: 1997-07-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 16482 . COSPAR: 1986-003B. Apogee: 36,016 km (22,379 mi). Perigee: 35,965 km (22,347 mi). Inclination: 4.5000 deg. Period: 1,446.50 min. Summary: Stationed at 81 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 85 deg W in 1986-1997; 87 deg W in 1997 As of 31 August 2001 located at 61.19 deg W drifting at 2.593 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 125.55E drifting at 2.586W degrees per day..

1990 November 20 - . 23:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P. LV Configuration: Ariane 42P V40.
  • Satcom C1 - . Payload: Satcom C1. Mass: 1,169 kg (2,577 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GE Americom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 20945 . COSPAR: 1990-100A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Stationed at 137 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 137 deg W in 1990-1991; 139 deg W in 1991; 137 deg W in 1991-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 78.98 deg W drifting at 0.013 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 151.83E drifting at 3.912W degrees per day.

1992 August 31 - . 10:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925. LV Configuration: Delta 7925 D213.
  • Satcom C4 - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GE Americom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 22096 . COSPAR: 1992-057A. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Summary: Stationed at 135 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 135 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 3 September 2001 located at 135.00 deg W drifting at 0.002 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 164.40W drifting at 4.518W degrees per day..

1992 September 10 - . 23:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP+ V53.
  • Satcom C3 - . Mass: 1,375 kg (3,031 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GE Americom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Satcom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 22117 . COSPAR: 1992-060B. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Stationed at 131 deg W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 143 deg W in 1992; 131 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 130.93 deg W drifting at 0.000 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 79.06W drifting at 0.008W degrees per day..

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