Intelsat II F-3
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID1967-026A[1]
SATCAT no.2717[1]
Mission duration3 years
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeIntelsat II
Launch mass162 kilograms (357 lb)
BOL mass86 kilograms (190 lb)
Power85 watts
Start of mission
Launch dateMarch 23, 1967, 01:30:12 (1967-03-23UTC01:30:12Z) UTC[2]
RocketDelta E1
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17B
End of mission
DeactivatedEarly 1970s
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude15° west (1967-71, 1973)
35° west (1972)
Perigee altitude35,716 kilometers (22,193 mi)
Apogee altitude35,892 kilometers (22,302 mi)
Inclination5.81 degrees
Period23.94 hours
EpochFebruary 7, 2014, 14:16:27 UTC[3]

Intelsat II F-3, also known as Canary Bird was a communications satellite operated by Intelsat. Launched in 1967 it was operated in geostationary orbit, spending most of its operational life at a longitude of 15 degrees west.

The third of four Intelsat II satellites to be launched, Intelsat II F-3 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.[4] The spacecraft had a mass of 162 kilograms (357 lb) at launch, decreasing through expenditure of propellant to 86 kilograms (190 lb) by the beginning of its operational life.

Intelsat II F-3 was launched atop a Delta E1 rocket flying from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch took place at 01:30:12 on March 23, 1967, with the spacecraft entering a geosynchronous transfer orbit. It fired an SVM-1 apogee motor to place itself into its operational geostationary orbit. The spacecraft was operated at a longitude of 15° west, over the Atlantic Ocean. It was briefly relocated to 35° west in 1972, but had returned to 15° west by the following year.[5]

It acquired the unofficial nickname Canary Bird because of the association of the mission with Maspalomas Station, the ground station which is located in the Canary Islands.[6]

As of February 7, 2014 the derelict Intelsat II F-3 was in an orbit with a perigee of 35,716 kilometers (22,193 mi), an apogee of 35,892 kilometers (22,302 mi), inclination of 5.81 degrees and an orbital period of 23.94 hours.[3]


  1. ^ a b "INTELSAT 2 F-3". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "INTELSAT 2-F3 Satellite details 1967-026A NORAD 2717". N2YO. February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Intelsat-2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Wade, Mark. "Intelsat 2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on February 23, 2002. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Dickson, Paul (2009). A Dictionary of the Space Age. Baltimore: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 101. Retrieved February 11, 2019.