Intelsat announced Thursday that at 10:03 ET the IA-8 satellite was successfully launched aboard Sea Launch's Zenit-3SL rocket.
The satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral and Intelsat's most powerful to date, will operate from 89 degrees W longitude and will offer prime, powerful landmass coverage to customers in the Americas, the Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii.
A substantial portion of the capacity on IA-8 was committed to customers prior to the satellite's launch.
IA-8, which will begin service during August of 2005, features C-, Ku- and Ka-band transponders. The Ka-band payload on the IA-8 satellite represents Intelsat's first Ka-band capacity in orbit, and the IA-8 is just the second commercial satellite in North America to have such capacity.
IA-8 is also the first satellite in Intelsat's fleet to feature two high-powered zone beams specifically designed to provide complete zonal coverage of South America.
Additionally, the 89 degrees W location falls in the valuable North American broadcast arc, offering broadcast customers an ideal distribution platform.
All customers on IA-8 will have access to increased power and flexibility for all applications, including those used by the government, broadcasters, corporations, service providers and other businesses.
Intelsat CEO, David McGlade, stated "IA-8 represents a very important launch for Intelsat and North American customers as it offers high-powered Ku-Band coverage of all 50 states, relieving some of the current capacity constraints facing all operators serving the U.S. market.
"Intelsat is better positioned than ever to serve the US, South American and Caribbean markets and to support the growth of emerging services such as DTH, distribution of high-definition cable programming and broadband data networks. Our customers across the region will benefit from the higher power, increased network flexibility and cost-effective capacity IA-8 offers, which will allow them to grow their businesses with greater efficiency."
IA-8 is the fifth satellite in the Intelsat Americas fleet. The satellite was part of Intelsat's acquisition of Loral's North American satellite assets in February 2004, which helped give Intelsat a significant presence in the North American video and data markets. The launch of IA-8 marks the completion of Intelsat's planned launches to date.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed by United Press International
Explore further: Mark Kelly, twin brother enlisted for NASA study