Galaxy 1
Mission typeCommunication
COSPAR ID1983-065A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.14158
Mission duration9 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerHughes Aircraft
Dry mass1218 kg
Start of mission
Launch date28 June 1983, 22:08:00 UTC
RocketDelta-3920 / PAM-D
Launch siteCape Canaveral
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Longitude169.0° West
Band24 C-band
Coverage areaUnited States

Galaxy 1 was the first in a line of Galaxy communications satellites launched by Hughes Communications in 1983.

It helped fill a hole in satellite broadcasting bandwidth created by the loss of RCA's Satcom 3 in 1979.[1] Unlike satellite owners RCA and Western Union, Hughes did not lease time on their transponders in the fashion of a common carrier, but instead sold transponders outright to content providers. This created a stable lineup of content attractive enough for cable providers to dedicate Earth station receivers to it full-time.[2]

Among the services on Galaxy 1 by mid-1984: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, Showtime, The Disney Channel, TBS, CNN, ESPN, and The Nashville Network.[2]

Retirement of Galaxy 1

Galaxy 1 was originally slated for retirement in 1992 and replacement by Galaxy 1R,[3] but the replacement was lost during launch on 22 August 1992, due to a failure of the booster rocket's second stage Centaur engine.[4] Galaxy 1 was eventually replaced in 1994 by Galaxy 1RR.

Home Box Office

The HBO (Home Box Office) signal on transponder 23 of Galaxy 1 was interrupted during the infamous Captain Midnight attack on 27 April 1986. The attack was directed at HBO for their adoption of the Videocipher system and for charging high prices for access to the HBO and Cinemax services with that system.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "RCA Loses Contact with New Satellite". New York Times. 11 December 1979. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  2. ^ a b "After 10 Years of Satellite, the Sky's No Limit" (PDF). Broadcasting. 9 April 1984. p. 44. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Galaxy 5 Heralds New Era" (PDF). Monitoring Times. June 1992. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  4. ^ William Harwood (22 August 1992). "Atlas 1 rocket fails on launch, multi-million-dollar satellite destroyed". Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  5. ^ Snyder, Joan; Spencer, Susan (December 24, 2014). "Flashback: Hacker interrupts HBO's film in 1986". CBS News. New York City, New York. Archived from the original on December 6, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2017.