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|Mission duration||12 years|
|Launch mass||6,116 kilograms (13,483 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||November 16, 2005|
|Launch site||Kourou ELA-3|
Spaceway F2 is part of DirecTV’s constellation of direct broadcast satellites. The satellite was launched via an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou, French Guiana on November 16, 2005. Its operational position is in geosynchronous orbit 35,800 kilometres (22,200 mi) above the equator at 99.2 degrees west longitude. SPACEWAY-2 is a Boeing 702-model satellite with a 12-year life expectancy. It is expected to support high definition television to DirecTV customers with its Ka-band communications payload. Although SPACEWAY-2 was originally built by Boeing to be used for broadband Internet access via HughesNet, it has been retrofitted to deliver HD local channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, & Fox) to numerous markets nationwide.
On April 19, 2006 the satellite was delivered to DirecTV's control after successful on-orbit testing. SPACEWAY-2 immediately started broadcasting HD locals to DirecTV customers in eight more markets: Minneapolis, Minnesota; Sacramento and San Diego, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Nashville, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri.; Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Alabama. Satellites named DirecTV-10 (launched 2007) and DirecTV-11 (launched 2008), constructed by Boeing, also for use in high definition television, are bent-pipe Ka-band satellites instead of regenerative satellites, and are being used to continue the expansion of DirecTV's HD services.
SPACEWAY-2 was originally envisioned as a global Ka-band communications system.
Boeing retrofitted the SPACEWAY-2 satellite for bent-pipe Ka-band communications for use in high definition television and disabled the regenerative on-board processing of the original system that was to be used for the SPACEWAY broadband satellite communications.
DirecTV-11 is co-located with SPACEWAY-2 satellites in order to use the 500 MHz of unused spectrum for HDTV broadcasting. This spectrum was originally intended for the broadband internet capabilities of the two SPACEWAY satellites which were disabled by Hughes at the request of DirecTV.
- "Flight 167 Ariane 5 ECA: Spaceway F2 and Telkom 2". EADS Astrium. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
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