Intelsat VA F-14
Mission typeCommunication
Mission duration7 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
BusIntelsat VA
ManufacturerFord Aerospace
Launch mass1981 kg
BOL mass1098 kg [1]
Dimensions1.66 x 2.1 x 1.77 metres
Power1800 watts
Start of mission
Launch date31 May 1986, 00:53:03 UTC [2]
RocketAriane 2 V18
Launch siteKourou, ELA-1
Entered serviceLaunch failure
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeGeostationary orbit
Band26 C-band
6 Ku-band
Intelsat V

Intelsat VA F-14, was a communications satellite operated by Intelsat. Launched in 1986, it was the fourteenth of fifteen Intelsat V satellites to be launched. The Intelsat V series was constructed by Ford Aerospace, based on the Intelsat VA satellite bus. Intelsat VA F-14 was part of an advanced series of satellites designed to provide greater telecommunications capacity for Intelsat's global network.


The satellite was box-shaped, measuring 1.66 by 2.1 by 1.77 metres; solar arrays spanned 15.9 metres tip to tip. The arrays, supplemented by nickel-hydrogen batteries during eclipse, provided 1800 watts of power at mission onset, approximately 1280 watts at the end of its seven-year design life. The payload housed 26 C-band and 6 Ku-band transponders. It could accommodate 15,000 two-way voice circuits and two TV channels simultaneously. It also provided maritime communications for ships at sea.[3]


The satellite was successfully launched into space on 31 May 1986, at 00:53:03 UTC, by means of an Ariane 2 vehicle from the Centre Spatial Guyanais, Kourou, French Guiana. It had a launch mass of 1981 kg.[4] During the Ariane 2 maiden flight, the third stage had a partial ignition followed by another ignition above nominal pressure which led to the engine's failure and the destruction of the launcher.


Because the upper stage of the Ariane 2 was shared with the other Ariane rockets, all flights were suspended until 16 September 1987. As a result of an investigation into the ignition irregularities, it was decided that installing more powerful igniters would sufficiently rectify the issue.[5]


  1. ^ "Intelsat 5A". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Display: Intelsat 5A F-15 1989-086A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ "INTELSAT 514". TSE. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  5. ^ Harland, David M.; Lorenz, Ralph D. (2005). Space Systems Failures - Disasters and rescues of satellites, rockets, and space probes. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Praxis Publishing (Springer). p. 50. ISBN 0387215190.