PANAMSAT 5 (PAS 5) was launched on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It provided satellite communications services in the Americas, with access to Europe, including direct-to-home television in Mexico. The satellite was a 3-axis, body-stabilized launched to meet anticipated requirements for high-power, multiple-payload satellites for such applications as private business networks and mobile communications. The spacecraft body was composed of 2 modules; the primary bus structure that carried all launch vehicle loads and contained the propulsion subsystem, bus electronics, and battery packs; and a honeycomb structure that housed communications equipment, electronics, and isothermal heat pipes. Reflectors, antenna feeds, and solar arrays were mounted directly to the payload module, and antenna configurations could be placed on 3 faces of the bus. Such a modular approach allowed work to proceed in parallel on the 2 structures, thereby shortening the manufacturing schedule and test time.
PanAmSat 5 was placed in a geostationary orbit at 58 degrees W, and had an expected lifetime of 15 years.
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