|Mission duration||15 years|
|Launch mass||4,642 kilograms (10,234 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||May 21, 2008, 09:43:22UTC|
|Longitude||123° West (Coordinates: )|
|Band||24 IEEE C band |
24 IEEE Ku band
|Coverage area||United States, Canada, Mexico|
Galaxy 18 is a Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) 1300-series hybrid communications satellite owned by Intelsat and located in geosynchronous orbit at 123° W longitude, serving the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada with 24 C band, and 24 Ku band transponders. Galaxy 18 is intended to replace Galaxy 10R which was nearing the end of its design life.
While this spacecraft is designed for a 15-year service life on orbit, Sea Launch’s direct insertion into equatorial orbit is expected to yield additional years of fuel life. Galaxy 18 was scheduled to be launched by Sea Launch on May 8, 2008 but was pushed to May 25. It was subsequently moved up to 21 May. The launch took place successfully at 09:43 GMT.
Galaxy 18 is the home of many free-to-air television channels, including approximately three dozen US local stations operated by Equity Broadcasting. Ku band DVB-S programming may be received by compliant FTA receivers throughout North America using satellite dishes as small as one metre.
As of 2008, available free-to-air channels at 123°W include:
All Equity Media-owned stations are programmed from a central hub in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the satellite feeds used to deliver the complete signals to the individual station transmitter sites and to cable television operators. The future status of these stations is unknown, as Equity Media Holdings filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 8, 2008.