Mission typeCommunication
COSPAR ID1990-091A[1]
SATCAT no.20872
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSBS 6
Launch mass2,478 kg (5,463 lb)
BOL mass1,484 kg (3,272 lb)
Dimensions3.7 m × 10 m × 2.3 m (12.1 ft × 32.8 ft × 7.5 ft) with solar panels and antennas deployed.
Power2.2 kW
Start of mission
Launch date22:58, October 12, 1990 (UTC) (1990-10-12T22:58Z)[2]
RocketAriane 44L
Launch siteKourou ELA-2
End of mission
Disposalplaced in a graveyard orbit
DeactivatedApril 2009[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeInclined geosynchronous
Semi-major axis42527 km
Perigee altitude36,127.3 km
Apogee altitude36,186.6 km
Period1,454.7 minutes
Epoch00:00:00 2016-08-17[4]
BandKu band: 19 × 45 Mhz[3] />
Bandwidth855 MHz
Coverage areaContinental United States[5]
TWTA power41 Watts

SBS 6 was a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Hughes (now Boeing) on the HS-393 platform. It was originally ordered by Satellite Business Systems, which later sold it to Hughes Communications and was last used by Intelsat. It had a Ku band payload and operated on the 95°W longitude.[3]

Satellite description

The spacecraft was designed and manufactured by Hughes on the HS-393 satellite bus. It had a launch mass of 2,478 kg (5,463 lb), a mass of 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) after reaching geostationary orbit and an 8-year design life. When stowed for launch, its dimensions were 3.4 m (11 ft) long and 3.7 m (12 ft) in diameter.[6]

With its solar panels fully extended it spanned 10 m (33 ft).[3] Its power system generated approximately 2,350 Watts of power thanks to two cylindrical solar panels.[3] It also had a two 38Ah NiH2 batteries.[3] These panels used K7 and K4-3/4 solar cells and were more than twice the number than on the HS-376.[6]

Its propulsion system was composed of two R-4D LAE with a thrust of 490 N (110 lbf). It also used two axial and four radial 22 N (4.9 lbf) bipropellant thrusters for station keeping and attitude control.[6] It included enough propellant for orbit circularization and 8 years of operation.[3]

Its payload was composed of a 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) multi horn antenna by thirty 45 MHz Ku band transponders, of which 19 were active and 11 spares. It had a total active bandwidth of 855 MHz.[3][6] The Ku band transponders had a TWTA output power of 41 Watts.[3][6] It also had an omnidirectional command and telemetry antenna.[6]


In 1985 Satellite Business Systems decided to order a more powerful satellite than the HS-376 based previous satellites. Thus, it ordered the HS-393 based SBS 6 from Hughes, becoming the first customer of the platform.[3]

On October 12, 1990, SBS 6 was finally launched by an Ariane 44L from Kourou ELA-2 at 22:58 UTC.

In April 2009, SBS 6 finally decommissioned and put on a graveyard orbit.[3]


  1. ^ "SBS 6". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  2. ^ "SBS 6". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Krebs, Gunter Dirk (2016-08-17). "SBS 6". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  4. ^ "SBS 6". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  5. ^ "SBS 6". PanAmSat. Archived from the original on 2006-03-12. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "SBS 6". Boeing Satellite Development Center. Archived from the original on 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2016-08-17.