AT&T satellite fleet

The AT&T satellite fleet is a group of communications satellites located at various geostationary orbits that AT&T uses for the DirecTV satellite television service and HughesNet (formerly known as DirecWAY and DirecPC) internet service. The "DirecTV" prefix in their names has been changed to "T". [1][2]

Satellites and their orbits[edit]

Defunct satellites are highlighted in gold.

Satellite Orbital slot Launch date* Launch vehicle Satellite type Separated mass Mass at BOL Mass at EOL Status
DirecTV-1 109.8°W December 17, 1993 Ariane 4 Hughes Electronics HS-601 2,970 kilograms (6,550 lb) at GTO[3] 1,680 kilograms (3,700 lb) 1,300 kilograms (2,900 lb) Defunct
DirecTV-2[A] 100.8°W August 3, 1994 Atlas IIA[4] Hughes Electronics HS-601 Defunct
DirecTV-3[B] 91.1°W June 10, 1995 Ariane 42-P Hughes Electronics HS-601 Renamed as Nimiq 3
DirecTV-6[C] 109.5°W March 9, 1997 Atlas IIA[5] Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Defunct
DirecTV-1R[D] 55.8°E October 10, 1999 Zenit-3SL Hughes Electronics HS-601HP Defunct
DirecTV-4S(or T4S) 101.2° W November 27, 2001 Ariane 4 Hughes Electronics HS-601P Defunct
T5 (satellite) 110.1° W[6] May 7, 2002 Proton Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 3,640 kilograms (8,025 lb) at TO[7] Dormant
Galaxy 3C[E] 95°W June 15, 2002 Zenit-3SL Boeing BSS-702 Operational, to be removed from fleet
T7S 119.0°W May 4, 2004 Zenit-3SL Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Operational
T8 100.8°W May 22, 2005 Proton M Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Dormant
SPACEWAY-1 103.0°W April 26, 2005 Zenit-3SL Boeing BSS-702 Operational, to be removed from fleet in February 2020
SPACEWAY-2 99.2°W November 16, 2005 Ariane 5 ECA Boeing BSS-702 Dormant
T9S[F] 101.1°W October 13, 2006 Ariane 5 ECA Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Operational
T10 (satellite) 103.0°W July 7, 2007 Proton M Boeing BSS-702 5,893 kilograms (12,992 lb) at GTO[8] Operational
T11 99.2°W March 19, 2008 Zenit-3SL Boeing BSS-702 6,060 kilograms (13,360 lb) at GTO[9] 3,700 kilograms (8,200 lb)[9] Operational
T12 103.0°W December 28, 2009[10] Proton M Boeing BSS-702 Operational
T14[11] 99.2°W[12] December 6, 2014[13][14][15] Ariane 5[13] Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Operational
T15[16] 103.0°W[17] May 27, 2015[17] Ariane 5[13] Astrium Eurostar E3000 Operational
T16 101.1°W June 20, 2019[18] Ariane 5 Eurostar E3000 Operational

*Default sort column

A DirecTV-2 having reached the end of its useful life span, on April 16, 2007, the FCC granted DirecTV's request to conduct operations to move the satellite out to a disposal orbit and it was subsequently removed from service in May 2007.
B DirecTV-3 was removed from service in Oct 2002 and sent to a storage orbit as an on-orbit backup. It returned to service in 2003 having been leased to Telesat, which used the satellite as backup for its troubled Nimiq-2 at 82 degrees West under the designation Nimiq-2i. In 2004 the satellite was moved to back up Nimiq-1 and is now operated under the name Nimiq-3.
C DirecTV-6 went out of service August 15, 2006 and sent to a graveyard orbit having suffered damage from a solar flare in April 1997 as well as other solar array and power fluctuation problems.[19]
D DirecTV-1R having reached the end of its useful lifespan, was removed from service in 2014. From 2012 to 2014, it was leased to the Russian Satellite Communications Company and was located at 55.8 degrees East as a stopgap supplement to the RSCC's aging Bonum 1 satellite due to delays of the RSCC's Express-AT1 satellite.[20] Express-AT1 entered service on March 15, 2014, and both Bonum 1 and DirecTV-1R have since been deorbited.
E Galaxy 3C is operated by Intelsat. DirecTV leases non-DBS FSS transponders for international programming under the auspices of the DirecTV World Direct package.
F T9S was an in-orbit spare for DirecTV-4S, and didn’t start broadcasting any channels until 2011.

Details of satellite fleet[edit]


DirecTV-1R was launched in 1999. It was the first satellite used to broadcast local channels for DirecTV in major DMAs, and was positioned at 101.2° W when it first entered service. In 2004, when DirecTV completed moving all local channels in major DMAs to DirecTV-4S, DirecTV-1R was repositioned to 72.5° W to provide local channels for smaller DMAs not served by satellites in the 101° W, 110° W, or 119° W positions. From 2004 to 2011 in these smaller DMAs, a separate dish was required to obtain local channels. In early 2012, DirecTV-1R was briefly repositioned to 109.8° W as a spare for DirecTV-5, however, in mid-2012, it was announced that DirecTV-1R would be leased to the Russian Satellite Communications Company, and was repositioned to its current location at 55.8° E in late 2012 as a stopgap supplement to the RSCC's aging Bonum 1 satellite due to delays of the RSCC's Express-AT1 satellite. Express-AT1 was launched on March 15, 2014 and both DirecTV-1R and Bonum 1 have since been deorbited.


T4S (formerly DirecTV-4S) was the fifth Boeing Satellite Systems built satellite, the Boeing 601HP satellite, it was successfully launched November 27, 2001 aboard an Ariane 44LP rocket from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern coast of South America. It is stationed at 101° West longitude. T4S is a 9,400-pound, 86-foot-long, and 24.5-foot-wide high powered satellite, with the commercial debut of two important spacecraft technologies. This is the first satellite both for DirecTV and Boeing that employs spot beams. This technology reuses the same frequencies on multiple spot beams to reach the major television markets where DirecTV delivers the signals of local network affiliates. Further details, the satellite carries two Ku-band payloads: spot beams for local channels, and a national beam payload. The spot beam payload will use a total of 38 traveling wave-tube amplifiers (TWTAs) ranging in power from 30 to 88 watts. The national beam payload carries two active transponders with further capability for two active high-power transponders and six active low-power transponders. It has a 15-year projected life span, so roughly till November 2016, unless it is extended.[21] T4S started its deorbiting process in September 2019.[22]

Galaxy 3C[edit]

Galaxy 3C is a geostationary communications satellite located at 95° W. It was launched on June 15, 2002, with a Sea Launch vehicle, and is currently active on the C and Ku bands, with 24 transponders for each. Owned by Intelsat, some of the satellite's users include DirecTV's Brazil and Latin America systems, the Racetrack TV Network DBS service, and HughesNet. DirecTV is currently slowly discontinuing use of this satellite , with international channels moving to DirecTV 12 and 14.

Rite-Aid, TJ Maxx, and Chevron use Galaxy 3C as a VSAT platform.

Spaceway 1 and Spaceway 2[edit]

The SPACEWAY satellites were originally designed for use by Hughes Electronics to provide both TV and broadband internet service. The satellites were re-purposed for DirecTV after News Corporation purchased a controlling interest in Hughes. Spaceway 1 is currently set to end its mission in February 2020, Spaceway 2 continues to operate as a backup satellite.[23]

T10, T11, and T12[edit]

AT&T satellites 10, 11, and 12 are Boeing model 702 satellites designed to deliver high definition television to the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska.

DirecTV successfully launched T12 (then known as DirecTV-12), on December 28, 2009.[10] It became fully operational on May 19, 2010.

T14, T15 and T16[edit]

T14 (then known as DirecTV-14) was launched on December 6, 2014. T14 is a 6300 kilogram satellite, and houses 76 Ka-band transponders. It also features 18 Reverse-band transponders, a first for DirecTV. The spacecraft was built by Space Systems/Loral on their SSL-1300 bus, and has a scheduled lifetime of fifteen years. T14 is also capable of delivering 4K services. T15 was launched 5 months later on May 27, 2015. Weighing 6205 kilograms, the satellite is fitted with 30 Ku-band transponders, 24 Ka-band transponders, and 18 Reverse band transponders, and is able to operate from five orbital locations. It uses the Eurostar 3000 satellite bus. T16 was launched on June 20, 2019 and is practically identical to T15, the only difference being that T16 is built on the LX Hybrid version of the E300 bus. It will replace several satellites (T4S, T5 and Galaxy 3C) that have reached their end-of-life.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Rocket Thrust Equation and Launch Vehicles
  4. ^ "DIRECTV 2 (DBS 2)". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  5. ^ "DIRECTV 6 (TEMPO 2)". Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  6. ^ "DIRECTV 5 (TEMPO 1)".
  7. ^ Proton Launch Advisory: DIRECTV-5
  8. ^ ILS Proton to Launch DIRECTV 10 Archived 2010-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b DIRECTV 10, 11 and 12 Archived 2010-01-18 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b DirecTV Press Release December 29, 2009 DIRECTV HD and Movie Choices to Get a Lift With Successful Satellite Launch - DIRECTV 12 Boosts Satellite Fleet's Capacity to More Than 200 HD Channels; Begins Operation First Half of Next Year Archived January 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Space Systems/Loral Selected to Provide High-Power Satellite to DIRECTV Space Systems/Loral Press Release June 11, 2010
  12. ^ "Planned Satellite Launches 2014 |". August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "DirecTV Taps Arianespace for At Least Two Launches". September 13, 2011. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  14. ^ "Planned 2014 Launches | LyngSat". Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  15. ^ "DirecTV 14 set for December 4 Launch". November 15, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  16. ^ Astrium contracted to build DIRECTV 15 communications satellite Archived 2012-06-03 at the Wayback Machine Astrium Press Release November 4, 2011
  17. ^ a b [1]
  18. ^ "The AT&T T-16 and EUTELSAT 7C satellites are readied for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 launch". Ariane Space. 2019-06-05.
  19. ^ DirecTV-6 details including move to junkyard orbit
  21. ^ "Successful Launch Sends Boeing-Built DIRECTV-4S Satellite to Orbit". Boeing.
  22. ^ FCC Record: A Comprehensive Compilation of Decisions ..., Volume 27, Issue 1.
  23. ^ Henry, Caleb (2020-01-22). "DirecTV fears explosion risk from satellite with damaged battery". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  24. ^ Henry, Caleb (June 20, 2019). "Ariane 5 lofts satellites for AT&T, Eutelsat". Space News.

External links[edit]