Life of a launch

Intelsat 29e, our first next-generation satellite, was launched on 27 January 2016 from French Guiana aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 vehicle. Launch preparations began months before. The satellite entered service in April 2016.

At the Boeing factory, the digital payload was installed.

IS-29e went through rigorous testing. Here a technician tests the reflector deployment.

Acoustic and vibration tests simulate the environment that the satellite will experience during launch. In this picture, IS-29e is lifted onto the vibration table for testing.

Thermal vacuum testing ensures the satellite will be able to withstand the extreme variances in temperature that it will experience during launch and in space.

The satellite is carefully and securely packed into a container that fits inside the fuselage of an airplane.

En route to the airport.

Loading aboard the Antonov 124, the largest aircraft in the world.

Unloading the satellite at the airport in French Guiana.

Boeing technicians remove the satellite from the shipping container inside the Centre Spatial Guyanais (“CSG”) Payload Processing Facility.

A quick “touch and go” fit check ensures that the satellite will attach accurately and firmly to the adaptor that will secure it to the launch vehicle.

After a series of electrical and functional tests to confirm that nothing has changed since the satellite left the factory, it is transferred within the Payload Preparation Complex for fueling then to the Final Assembly Building (BAF) where it will be integrated with the rocket.

This is the fairing of the rocket, under which Intelsat 29e will be safely secured for launch.

The integration of the satellite under the fairing is the last time human eyes will see IS-29e!

Almost ready for launch!

The rocket rolls from the BAF atop a gantry on a rail track to the launch pad about 1.5 miles away.

At the launch pad, all systems are GO!

After the countdown, the rocket fires!

It’s a picture perfect lift-off…and the start of an Intelsat EpicNG SM era.

Intelsat's Launch Schedule (as of December 31, 2015)

Satellite* Follows Orbital
Intelsat 29e IS-1R, IS-805 310ºE Launched 2Q16 Broadband & Mobility
Intelsat 31 New 95ºW 2Q16 2Q16 DTH
Intelsat 36 New 68.5ºE 3Q16 4Q16 DTH & Media
Intelsat 33e IS-904 60ºE 3Q16 YE 2016 Broadband Infrastructure
Intelsat 35e IS-903 325.5ºE 2017 2018 Broadband & Media
Intelsat 37e 9-series Replacement TBD 2017 2018 Broadband Infrastructure
Traditional 9-series Replacement TBD 2018 2019 Broadband Infrastructure
Intelsat EpicNG 10-series Replacement TBD 2019 2020 Broadband & Media

All programs in the concept phase are subject to change. If there is an "e" it signifies that it is an IntelSatNG satellite

* Not included in capital expenditure are IntelSat 32e and IntelSat 38 as they are custom payloads being built on third-party satellites. Horizons 3e is a joint venture satellite which is also not included in capital expenditure.

2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY
Capex $725M-$800M $625M-$700M $425M-$525M