Intelsat, the world’s largest provider of commercial satellite services, successfully completed its first satellite launch this year with the debut of Galaxy 18 Wednesday, the company said.
The bird was launched aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket. Galaxy 18, built by Space Systems/Loral, will operate from 123 degrees West and serve programmers, government and corporate broadband customers in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Galaxy 18 is joining Intelsat’s North American cable community within its Galaxy fleet, which is comprised of 16 other satellites that cover North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The satellite features 24 C- and 24 Ku-band transponders allowing for increased power and flexibility for video and data transmissions.
“Galaxy 18 will provide our customers valuable 50-state coverage and reach Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, operating in a powerhouse role, delivering some of the most popular programming to millions of American homes,” Intelsat CEO David McGlade said in a prepared statement. “This is the first of two launches for Intelsat this year, both focused on enhancing our North American Galaxy fleet.”