Intelsat II F-1

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Intelsat II F-1
Mission type Communications
Operator Intelsat
COSPAR ID 1966-096A
SATCAT no. 2514
Mission duration 3 years planned
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Intelsat II
Bus HS-303A
Manufacturer Hughes
Launch mass 162 kilograms (357 lb)[1]
BOL mass 86 kilograms (190 lb) planned[1]
Power 85 watts
Start of mission
Launch date October 26, 1966, 23:05:00 (1966-10-26UTC23:05Z) UTC[2]
Rocket Delta E1
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-17B
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary planned
Transfer achieved
Perigee 3,206 kilometers (1,992 mi)
Apogee 37,186 kilometers (23,106 mi)
Inclination 16.97 degrees
Period 718.29 minutes
Epoch February 1, 2014, 22:57:43 UTC[3]

Intelsat II F-1, also known as Blue Bird was a communications satellite operated by Intelsat. Launched in 1966 it was intended for operations in geostationary orbit over the Pacific Ocean to provide a communications link between Australia and the United States, however a malfunction prevented the satellite from reaching its planned orbit.

The first of four Intelsat II satellites to be launched, Intelsat II F-1 was built by Hughes Aircraft around the HS-303A satellite bus. It carried two transponders, which were powered by body-mounted solar cells generating 85 watts of power.[1]

Intelsat II F-1 was launched atop a Delta E1 rocket flying from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[2] The launch, which was successful, took place at 23:05:00 UTC on October 26, 1966, with the spacecraft entering a geosynchronous transfer orbit as planned. The spacecraft was equipped with an SVM-1 apogee motor, which was to be fired to raise the spacecraft into its operational geostationary orbit, however this failed four seconds after ignition. The spacecraft was left in its transfer orbit, unable to complete its primary mission, however it was used for some tests and limited communications.[4]

Intelsat II F-1 remains in orbit.[5] As of 1 February 2014 it was in an orbit with a perigee of 3,206 kilometers (1,992 mi), an apogee of 37,186 kilometers (23,106 mi), inclination of 16.97 degrees and an orbital period of 11.97 hours.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter. "Intelsat-2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "INTELSAT 2-F1 Satellite details 1966-096A NORAD 2514". N2YO. 1 February 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ "INTELSAT 2 F-1". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved February 3, 2014.