Panamsat 6B

Launch Time
Tue Dec 22, 1998 01:08 UTC

Flight V115.


Ariane 42L
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 4,538 kN
Payload to GTO: 3,480 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 2
Rocket Height: 58.72 m

Mission Details

Panamsat 6B

In March 1998, Hughes Space and Communications Company of El Segundo, Calif., was selected by PanAmSat Corporation of Greenwich, Conn., to build PAS-6B, a Hughes HS-601HP spacecraft model to provide direct-to-home television transmissions in South America. The satellite was launched on Dec. 21, 1998.

As a Hughes HS-601HP, PAS-6B carries the latest technological advancements in satellites: dual-junction gallium arsenide solar cells and a xenon ion propulsion system. The solar array on PAS-6B generates 8 kilowatts of power. The xenon ion propulsion system, "XIPS," is 10 times more efficient than the propulsion systems currently in use and enables the satellite to carry more payload.

The 7-kilowatt payload consists of 32 Ku-band transponders that are powered by a combination of 105-watt and 140-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers. Designed to provide a minimum of 15 years of service, PAS-6B is the fourth Hughes 601HP to serve PanAmSat.

Intelsat changed the name of the PAS satellites to Intelsat effective to 1. February 2007.

In 2003 PAS 6B lost the secondary XIPS engines in addition to the earlier loss of the primaries, which will lead to a reduced lifetime.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 3,470.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


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



80th orbital launch attempt


103rd mission
10th mission of 1998
98th successful mission
42nd consecutive successful mission

Ariane 4

84th mission
10th mission of 1998
81st successful mission
42nd consecutive successful mission