EchoStar III
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID1997-059A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.25004
Mission duration12 years
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Launch mass3,674 kilograms (8,100 lb)
Dry mass1,700 kilograms (3,700 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateOctober 5, 1997, 21:01 (1997-10-05UTC21:01Z) UTC
RocketAtlas IIAS
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-36B
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude61.5° west
Semi-major axis42,164.0 kilometers (26,199.5 mi)
Perigee altitude35,787.6 kilometers (22,237.4 mi)
Apogee altitude35,798.8 kilometers (22,244.3 mi)
Inclination2.1 degrees
Period1,436.1 minutes
EpochMay 14, 2017
Band32 Ku band
Coverage areaContiguous United States

EchoStar III is a communications satellite operated by EchoStar. Launched in 1997 it was operated in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 61.5 degrees west for 12 years.

Current status

EchoStar announced August 2, 2017, EchoStar III "experienced an anomaly of unknown origin" during a relocation maneuver in the previous week "that has caused communications with the satellite to be interrupted and intermittent." EchoStar III is now drifting westward at about 0.1 degrees per day, encountering other geostationary satellites. Echostar also said the satellite "is [now] a fully depreciated, non-revenue generating asset."[1]

EchoStar III was finally placed in a graveyard orbit on September 6, 2017.[2]


The launch of EchoStar I made use of an Atlas-II AS rocket flying from Launch Complex 36 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch took place at 21:01 UTC on October 5, 1997, with the spacecraft entering a geosynchronous transfer orbit. EchoStar III carried 16 (or more) Ku band transponders to provide direct voice and video communications to small dishes in North America after parking over 79 W or 135 W longitude.[3][4]


See also


  1. ^ "EchoStar loses contact with EchoStar-3 while changing orbit". SpaceNews. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "EchoStar III Satellite Recovered and Retired".
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "EchoStar 3, 4, 7". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "EchoStar 3". SatBeams. Retrieved May 14, 2017.