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EchoStar 5, 6 / Ciel 1 / Bermudasat 1

EchoStar 6 [SSL]

EchoStar V and VI are series of two high-powered direct broadcast satellites (DBS) being built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for EchoStar Communications Corporation.

The power and range of EchoStar V and VI allow EchoStar's DISH Network customers to receive hundreds of television channels of programming. EchoStar's current fleet of six satellites has the capacity to offer 500 channels of content that include digital video and audio, local network programming, Interactive TV and high-speed data services, business television, and other niche services.

EchoStar V and VI have each 32 transponders operating at 125 Watts, switchable to 16 transponders operating at 250 Watts. Total satellite power will be in autumnal equinox at 10,000 dc watts, making them the most powerful direct broadcast satellite ever manufactured. They are expected to provide more than 12 years of uninterrupted service.

The EchoStar spacecraft is based on SS/L's three-axis, body-stabilized SSL-1300 bus, whose modular design is flight-proven and has an excellent record of reliable operation.

EchoStar 5 and 6 were originally ordered by MCI as Sky 1A and 1B (or MCI 1 and 2).

In July 2001, EchoStar 5 experienced the loss of one of its three momentum wheels. Two momentum wheels are utilized during normal operations and a spare wheel was switched in at the time. A second momentum wheel experienced an anomaly in December 2003 and was switched out resulting in operation of the spacecraft in a modified mode utilizing thrusters to maintain spacecraft pointing. While this operating mode provides adequate performance, it results in an increase in fuel usage and a corresponding reduction of spacecraft life. This operating mode is not expected to reduce the estimated design life of the satellite to less than 12 years. During August 2001, one of the thrusters on EchoStar 5 experienced an anomalous event resulting in a temporary interruption of service. The satellite was quickly restored to normal operations mode. The satellite is equipped with number of backup thrusters. In March 2005, the satellite was leased to Ciel Satellite Communications of Canada and moved to 129W.

EchoStar 6 suffered a partial thruster failure in 2001, leading to a performance loss. It was leased to Bermuda to secure a orbital position for the country and is operated as Bermudasat 1.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Communication (Direct Broadcasting)
Operator: Dish Network Corporation (EchoStar)
Contractors: Space Systems/Loral (SS/L)
Equipment: 32 Ku-band transponders
Configuration: SSL-1300
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 12 years
Mass: 3602 kg (#5), 3700 kg (#6)
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
EchoStar 5 (ex Sky 1A ex MCI 1) → Ciel 1 1999-050A 23.09.1999 CC SLC-36A Atlas-2AS
EchoStar 6 (ex Sky 1B ex MCI 2) → Bermudasat 1 2000-038A 14.07.2000 CC SLC-36B Atlas-2AS

References:

Further EchoStar missions:
Ciel missions: