The Nimiq satellites are a Canadian fleet of geostationary telecommunications satellites owned by Telesat and used by satellite television providers including Bell Satellite TV and EchoStar (Dish Network). 'Nimiq' is an Inuit word used for an object or a force which binds things together. A contest in 1998 was held to choose the name of these satellites. The contest drew over 36,000 entries.
Nimiq-1 was launched on 21 May 1999 by a Proton-K / Blok DM-03 launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was Canada's first direct broadcast digital TV satellite and was paid for by Telesat, a Canadian communications company and subsidiary of Bell Canada Enterprises.
Nimiq 2, launched on 29 December 2002 on a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, includes 32 Ku-band transponders. Nimiq 2 provides additional bandwidth for High-definition television (HDTV) and interactive television applications. On 20 February 2003, Nimiq-2 experienced a partial power failure and as such can only power 26 of its 32 Ku-band transponders.
Nimiq 2's orbital slot, 123° West longitude, was changed to 91.61° East longitude during June 2019.
Nimiq-3 and Nimiq-4i were leased by Bell Satellite TV from DirecTV Inc. when they were already in orbit. Originally called Direct-TV3 and Direct-TV2 respectively, these Hughes HS-601 models were brought out of retirement and are currently used to share some of the workload from Nimiq-2 and Nimiq-1, respectively. They went online in Bell TV's stead in 2004 and 2006.
Nimiq-4i ran out of fuel and was replaced  by Nimiq-4iR on 28 April 2007.
Nimiq-4 was launched on 19 September 2008, by a Proton-M / Briz M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will replace Nimiq-4i, and will provide advanced services such as HDTV, specialty channels and foreign language programming.
In 2009, Telesat announced plans to build and launch its 19th satellite, Nimiq-5. It selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of the Nimiq-5 satellite in 2009. Space Systems/Loral has been selected as the manufacturer for Nimiq-5.
The satellite's manufacturing plan also includes contracts with the Canadian satellite industry, including multiplexers and switches from Com Dev International Ltd. and antennas from MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, Ltd (MDA Ltd).
The Nimiq-5 satellite was shipped from the manufacturer, Space Systems Loral located in Palo Alto, California, to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on 18 August 2009. Telesat Canada contracted with International Launch Services (ILS) in April 2007 for the launch of Nimiq-5 by an ILS Proton-M / Briz-M launch vehicle.