Intelsat II F-1
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID1966-096A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.2514
Mission duration3 years planned
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeIntelsat II
Launch mass162 kilograms (357 lb)[1]
BOL mass86 kilograms (190 lb) planned[1]
Power85 watts
Start of mission
Launch dateOctober 26, 1966, 23:05:00 (1966-10-26UTC23:05Z) UTC[2]
RocketDelta E1
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17B
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeGeostationary planned
Transfer achieved
Perigee altitude3,265 kilometers (2,029 mi)
Apogee altitude37,121 kilometers (23,066 mi)
Inclination17.70 degrees
Period718.41 minutes
EpochFebruary 1, 2014, 22:57:43 UTC[3]

Intelsat II F-1, also known as Blue Bird was a communications satellite operated by Intelsat. Launched in 1966 it was intended for operations in geostationary orbit over the Pacific Ocean to provide a communications link between Australia and the United States, however a malfunction prevented the satellite from reaching its planned orbit.

The first of four Intelsat II satellites to be launched, Intelsat II F-1 was built by Hughes Aircraft around the HS-303A satellite bus. It carried two transponders, which were powered by body-mounted solar cells generating 85 watts of power.[1]

Intelsat II F-1 was launched atop a Delta E1 rocket flying from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[2] The launch, which was successful, took place at 23:05:00 UTC on October 26, 1966, with the spacecraft entering a geosynchronous transfer orbit as planned. The spacecraft was equipped with an SVM-1 apogee motor, which was to be fired to raise the spacecraft into its operational geostationary orbit, however this failed four seconds after ignition. The spacecraft was left in its transfer orbit, unable to complete its primary mission, however it was used for some tests and limited communications.[4]

Intelsat II F-1 remains in orbit.[5] As of 2 May 2023 it was in an orbit with a perigee of 3,265 kilometers (2,029 mi), an apogee of 37,121 kilometers (23,066 mi), inclination of 17.70 degrees and an orbital period of 11.97 hours.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter. "Intelsat-2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  2. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "INTELSAT 2-F1 Satellite details 1966-096A NORAD 2514". N2YO. February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "INTELSAT 2 F-1". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved February 3, 2014.