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Feature Story

Intelsat 21 launched

Photo by Sea Launch

Intelsat 21 launched at 11:55 p.m. (Pacific time) on August 18 and is now on its way to supporting Intelsat customers with expanded telecommunications services.

Boeing 702MP satellite launched for Intelsat

Boeing delivers new satellites to Intelsat in record time

For the second time this year, Intelsat S.A. has launched a Boeing 702MP (medium power) satellite to add new telecommunications capacity to its global fleet.

Intelsat 21 launched on August 18, beginning its journey of 15 or more years in geosynchronous orbit. After completing checkout and testing, the satellite will enter service in late 2012, providing high-capacity video, data and voice services to Intelsat customers in Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Atlantic. Intelsat 21 joins Intelsat 22 that launched in March, the first of four 702MP satellites the company ordered from Boeing.

702MP satellite


In 2009, Boeing introduced the 702MP satellite, an affordable and technically adaptable design aimed at the medium-sized satellite market. Intelsat, a Luxembourg-based provider of global mobile communications, became the first customer.

"Since 1967, Boeing has built more than 50 communications satellites for Intelsat," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "Today, our employees are delivering to Intelsat high-quality space vehicles that exceed everyone's expectations. Two new satellites completed within five months is testament to that. They make our customer's mission, our mission every day."

A new satellite typically is built and tested in 36-60 months. However, the S&IS team completed Intelsat 22 in 29 months after contract award, which was one month ahead of the aggressive schedule set by Intelsat - and an industry record. Intelsat 21 was delivered on schedule and the third satellite, known as Intelsat 27, is on track for early completion and a launch in the first quarter of 2013.

The 702MP offers a flexible, modular design that enables faster delivery and can meet a variety of communication needs. The satellite is an evolution of the Boeing 702 that combines flight-proven technology with updated structures, resulting in a low-risk satellite capable of operating in the mid-range of the power spectrum (6-12 Kilowatts). By emphasizing standardization in design, electronics, supplier agreements and production, S&IS has kept the 702MP affordable as well as accelerated the manufacturing cycle.

Solar wings

Photo by Diane Prendergast

Solar wings, made by Boeing subsidiary Spectrolab, help provide power to the satellite. Shown here in the factory, the wings are fully extended to 36.85 m (40.3 yards).

"Our team has made productivity improvements without compromising quality and reliability," said Mike Neuman, Intelsat program manager."Their tremendous efforts are giving customers like Intelsat advanced satellite technology for greater communications capability."