Packing a communications payload able to transmit up to 120,000 telephone calls and 3 TV broadcasts simultaneously, a new generation INTELSAT 6 communications satellite lifted off aboard an Ariane 44L booster from Kourou Space Center. It carried 38 C-band and 10 K-band transponders. Advanced digital circuit multiplication equipment increased its average 24,000 simultaneous telephone circuit capability to 120,000 during peak hours. Built by Hughes Space & Communications Group for INTELSAT, it measured 3.6 m in diameter and 5.3 m tall when stowed. It stretched to 11.7 m with solar drum extended. The satellite was the heaviest commercial commsat flying to date, weighing 4,215 kg at launch, 2,560 kg on orbit. Two nickel hydrogen batteries supplemented the solar arrays to provide 2,252 W minimum. It had a 13-year design life.
1 20315U 89087A 12331.00070554 -.00000228 +00000-0 +10000-3 0 06033 2 20315 009.7325 050.3140 0004634 050.4185 309.4813 00.99008351082320