In early 2001, Orbital firmly established itself as a major U.S. GEO satellite supplier with a contract from PanAmSat Corporation, which owned and operated one of the world's largest private fleets of commercial GEO communications satellites. Orbital was selected to supply one C-band GEO satellite designated Galaxy 12 to be located at 74° W longitude. In late 2001, PanAmSat exercised an option for two additional C-band spacecraft, Galaxy 14 and Galaxy 15. Following PanAmSat's merger with Intelsat in 2006, these satellites became part of the greater Intelsat fleet of satellites.
Galaxy 12 and 14 distribute entertainment and information to cable television systems, TV broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home TV operators, Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and corporations. The Galaxy 15 satellite carries an additional L-band payload as part of the U.S Federal Aviation Administration’s Geostationary Communications and Control Segment (GCCS) program.
Galaxy 15 relays Global Positioning Systems (GPS) navigation to in-flight aircraft, providing highly accurate guidance to pilots at airports and airstrips where there is currently no precision landing capability.
Repeater: two groups of 16-for-12 linearized traveling wave tube assemblies (TWTAs)
Stabilization: 3-axis, zero momentum
Launch mass: 1,730 kg (3,814 lbs) Galaxy 15 1,892 kg (4,171 lbs)
Mission life: 15 years (>15 years of fuel)
Galaxy 12 was successfully launched on April 9, 2003
Galaxy 14 was successfully launched on August 13, 2005
Galaxy 15 was successfully launched on October 13, 2005
Coverage: CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii
Customer: Intelsat - Luxembourg
Mission: C-band communications for CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii