Galaxy 1

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Galaxy 1
COSPAR ID1983-065A
SATCAT no.14158
Mission duration9 years
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerHughes Aircraft
Dry mass1,218 kilograms (2,685 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateJune 28, 1983, 22:08:00 (1983-06-28UTC22:08Z) UTC
Launch siteCape Canaveral
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude169° west
Perigee35,815 kilometers (22,254 mi)
Apogee35,844 kilometers (22,272 mi)
Period1.437 minutes
Band24 C band

Galaxy 1 was the first in a line of Galaxy communications satellites launched by Hughes Communications in 1983.

It helped fill a hole in satellite broadcasting bandwidth created by the loss of RCA's Satcom 3 in 1979. Unlike satellite owners RCA and Western Union, Hughes did not lease time on their transponders in the fashion of a common carrier, but instead sold transponders outright to content providers. This created a stable lineup of content attractive enough for cable providers to dedicate earth station receivers to it full-time.[1]

Among the services on Galaxy 1 by mid-1984: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, Showtime, The Disney Channel, TBS, CNN, ESPN, and The Nashville Network.[1]

Retirement of Galaxy 1[edit]

In 1992, Galaxy 1 was replaced by Galaxy 5 as the predominant cable television signal carrier, when a majority of satellite television services were relocated onto that satellite. It was originally slated for retirement in 1992 and replacement by Galaxy 1R, but the replacement was lost during launch on August 22, 1992, due to a failure of the booster rocket's second stage Centaur engine; it was eventually replaced in 1994 by Galaxy 1RR.

Home Box Office[edit]

The HBO (Home Box Office) signal on transponder 23 of Galaxy 1 was interrupted during the infamous Captain Midnight attack on April 27, 1986. The attack was directed at HBO for their adoption of the Videocipher system and for charging high prices for access to the HBO and Cinemax services with that system.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "After 10 Years of Satellite, the Sky's No Limit" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 9, 1984. p. 44. Retrieved June 13, 2015.