DirecTV-1 & Thaicom-1

Launch Time
Sat Dec 18, 1993 01:27 UTC

Flight V62.


Ariane 44L
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 6,000 kN
Payload to GTO: 4,720 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 4
Rocket Height: 58.72 m

Mission Details


High-powered satellites built by Hughes Space and Communications Company (HSC) began bringing true direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service to homes throughout North America in 1994.

The spacecraft are HS-601 body-stabilized models ordered by DirecTV, Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. DirecTV-1, DirecTV-2, and DirecTV-3 are collocated at 101 degrees West longitude and are used exclusively by DirecTV. Collectively the three satellites have the capacity to deliver more than 200 channels of entertainment programming to subscribers that are equipped with DSSTM digital home receiving units, which feature an 18-inch dish.

To provide the high satellite power necessary for such small antennas, the DirecTV-1 spacecraft has 16 transponders powered by 120-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs). The TWTAs were reconfigured to provide eight channels with 240 Watts of power on DirecTV-2 and DirecTV-3.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,860.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


Mindful of the growing population and business base in Thailand, Shinawatra Computer and Communications Co. Ltd. (SC&C) signed a contract with Hughes Space and Communications Company in October 1991 to develop the country's first dedicated communications satellite system. Two satellites, light-weight versions of Hughes' popular Hughes HS-376 model, were ordered to be built and delivered in 24 and 28 months, respectively. The system was named "Thaicom" by King Bhumiphol, to symbolize the link between Thailand and modern communications technology. The satellites were called Thaicom 1 and Thaicom 2

Based on the reliable HS-376 bus, each Thaicom satellite has two Ku-band transponders (plus one spare), powered by 47-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers. The effective isotropic radiated power over Thailand is 50 dBW. The spacecraft also carries 10 C-band transponders (plus two spares), linked to 11-watt solid-state power amplifiers. These have a broader coverage area, from Japan to Singapore, and provide 33 to 38 dBW.

The Thaicom HS-376L satellites share some characteristics with the other HS-376 spin-stabilized models sold to customers around the world. The outer and inner cylindrical solar panels slide together for launch, and in orbit, the outer panel is lowered and the round, dual-polarized antenna is raised. Silicon solar cells provide electrical power (700 Watts at beginning of life for Thaicom), and a nickel-hydrogen battery provides power during an eclipse.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 1,080.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


ELA-2, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



83rd orbital launch attempt


53rd mission
7th mission of 1993
50th successful mission
26th consecutive successful mission

Ariane 4

34th mission
7th mission of 1993
33rd successful mission
26th consecutive successful mission