Table 4-103. Chronology of Intelsat Development and Operations, 1969-1978





Feb. 5, 1969

Intelsat III F-3 was launched successfully by NASA for Intelsat. The satellite was moved from over the Pacific to over the Indian Ocean in May 1969 because of recurring problems with the comsat. It was operational until April 1979.

Apr. 21, 1969

Intelsat chose the Atlas-Centaur vehicle to launch the Intelsat IV series instead of a Thor-Delta model or Titan.

May 21, 1969

Intelsat III F-4 was launched successfully and served as a Pacific link.

July 25, 1969

Intelsat III F-5, planned as an Atlantic link, did not obtain proper orbit because of a malfunction of the launch vehicle's third stage.

Jan. 1970

Intelsat IV's thermal design was verified in a seven-day vacuum chamber test at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Jan. 14, 1970

Intelsat III F-6 was launched successfully and served as an Atlantic link.

Apr. 1970

Lockheed Missile & Space Company, with 13 other companies as partners, announced plans to compete for the development of a new-generation Intelsat satellite (to be called Intelsat V).

April 22, 1970

Intelsat III F-7 was placed in a lower transfer orbit than planned because of a launch vehicle guidance system problem, but it was placed into synchronous orbit by the spacecraft's apogee motor. The satellite served as an Atlantic link.

July 23, 1970

Intelsat III F-8, the last of the series and planned as a Western Pacific link, was placed into the correct transfer orbit, but was lost shortly after its apogee motor fired to put it into synchronous orbit.

Jan. 15, 1971

Intelsat IV F-2, the first of the new series, was successfully launched and served as an Atlantic link.

Dec. 19, 1971

Intelsat IV F-3 was launched and served as an Atlantic link.

Jan. 22, 1972

Intelsat IV F-4 was launched and served as a Pacific )ink.

Mar. 1, 1972

Fairchild Industries, Lockheed, and Hughes Aircraft Company submitted bids for an Intelsat V design.

Mar. 27, 1972

Intelsat chose Lockheed to furnish a system design study for an Intelsat V series.

Apr. 28, 1972

Lockheed suggested an Intelsat IV 1/2 design, an uprated IV that would give them additional time to develop the advanced technology required for Intelsat V.

June 13, 1972

Intelsat IV F-5 was launched and served as an Indian Ocean link.

Sept. 5, 1972

Hughes and British Aircraft Corporation agreed to study the feasibility of an advanced Intelsat IV satellite with twice the capacity.

Dec. 1972

Because of reservations on the part of the Federal Communications Commission regarding the role of an uprated Intelsat IV as compared to a new trans-Atlantic cable system, Intelsat delayed the purchase of the so-called Intelsat IV 1/2.

Feb. 2, 1973

The uprated Intelsat IV was finally approved by Intelsat; it would be called the IVA.

Mar. 22, 1973

Intelsat approved a contract with Hughes for three Intelsat IVAs; the contract was awarded in May.

Aug. 23, 1973

Intelsat IV F- 7 was launched and served as an Atlantic link.

Nov. 21, 1974

Intelsat IV F-8 was launched and served as a Pacific link.

Dec. 6, 1974

Intelsat awarded Hughes a contract for three more IVAs, for a total of six,

Feb. 20, 1975

Intelsat IV F-6, planned as a Pacific link, was destroyed along with its launcher 450 seconds after liftoff because of a launch vehicle failure.

May 22, 1975

Intelsat IV F-I was launched and served as an Indian Ocean link; it was the last launch of the IV series.

July 17, 1975

Intelsat issued RFPs for an Intelsat V, the design for which was approved in April 1975; proposals were due on November 1, 1975,

Aug. 1, 1975

TRW Systems Group established an industry team and submitted a proposal for the fabrication of seven Intelsat V satellites.

Sept. 26, 1975

Intelsat IVA F-1, the first of the IVA series, was launched and served as an Atlantic link.

Sept. 30, 1975

Aeronutronics Ford Corp. formed an industry team to bid on an Intelsat V satellite.

Jan. 29, 1976

Intelsat IVA F-2 was launched and served as an Atlantic link.

May 19-27, 1976

Intelsat narrowed the field of Intelsat V competitors to two: Hughes and Aeronutronic Ford. Proposals from Lockheed and TRW were eliminated in March.

July 21-28, 1976

Intelsat chose Aeronutronic Ford for final negotiations for Intelsat V; a contract was awarded in September; the first launch was scheduled for 1979.

May 26, 1977

Intelsat IVA F-4 was launched and served as an Atlantic link.

Sept. 29, 1977

Intelsat IVA F-5, planned as an Indian Ocean link, was destroyed 55 seconds after liftoff along with its launch vehicle because of an Atlas-stage malfunction.

Jan. 7, 1978

Intelsat IVA F-3 was launched and served as an Indian Ocean link.

March 31, 1978

Intelsat IVA F-6, the last of the IVA series, was launched and served as an Indian Ocean link.

Sept. 1978

Intelsat considered the European Ariane as a possible alternative to Shuttle or Atlas-Centaur for launching its Intelsat V series.

Dec. 1978

Intelsat decided to use Atlas-Centaur, Ariane, and Shuttle for launching its seven Intelsat V satellites. The first four will be launched by Atlas-Centaur, the fifth and seventh will be orbited by Shuttle, and the sixth will be put in place by Ariane. Atlas-Centaur would be made available as a backup launch vehicle if Shuttle did not meet its schedule for operational use.

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