1962: JFK Signs U.S. Satellite Communications Law

Intelsat was launched with President John F. Kennedy’s signing of the U.S. Satellite Communications Act into law in 1962.

1965: Intelsat I Launch

Early Bird (Intelsat I) is launched into synchronous orbit. This is the world’s first commercial communications satellite and “live via satellite” is born.

1967: Intelsat Transmits the First Live Global TV Broadcast

Intelsat satellites carried the first-ever live international video broadcast, the TV special “Our World.” The two-and-a-half-hour program was coordinated out of the BBC control room in London and featured live feeds from 14 different countries. The program concluded back in London with the premiere performance of the Beatles singing “All You Need Is Love”.

1969: Moon Landing via Intelsat

Intelsat transmits television images of the Apollo 11 moon landing around the world – a record 500 million television viewers worldwide see astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon “live via Intelsat.”

1985: Live Aid Concert

Worldwide television coverage of the Live Aid Concert to benefit the famine victims in Africa reaches millions of viewers across 88 nations via the Intelsat network.

1989: Birth of HD

On April 12, 1989, Intelsat delivers the first international digital HD transmission between the United States and Japan, continuing its role at the forefront of technology innovation.

2000: Sydney Olympics Broadcast

Intelsat makes the Olympic Games in Sydney available to a record four billion people worldwide, as broadcasters use more than 40,000 hours of capacity provided by 10 Intelsat satellites.

2001: Intelsat Privatization

Intelsat becomes a private company – Intelsat, Ltd. –  after 37 years as an intergovernmental organization. Intelsat begins investing in ground infrastructure and satellites serving the media.

2006: Intelsat Acquires PanAmSat

Intelsat announces its merger with PanAmSat Holding Corporation, and with the addition of PanAmSat’s video market expertise, advanced satellite fleet and blue-chip media customer base, Intelsat becomes the largest provider of fixed satellite services (FSS) worldwide to each of the media, network services and government customer sectors.

2007: Live Earth Global Concerts in High Definition

Intelsat broadcasts the world’s largest high-definition music event in history, Live Earth. Intelsat combines its industry-leading network of satellite and terrestrial facilities to broadcast the world’s largest high-definition music event in history — a 24-hour, seven continent, 150-performer concert — to a viewing audience of more than two billion

2009: Intelsat Invests $3.5 Billion in Expanding and Upgrading its Fleet

Intelsat announces its largest investment program to date, with a plan to launch 11 satellites by 2013. The investment aligns Intelsat’s satellite fleet with customer requirements, such as broadband infrastructure for air and sea, and high-powered land mass beams for direct-to-home video applications.

2012: Intelsat Epic Satellite Platform Announced

Intelsat introduces “Intelsat Epic”, an innovative satellite platform to support the evolving needs of telecommunications providers with an architecture that utilizes multiple spectrums, wide beams, spot beams, and frequency reuse technology to deliver more throughput per unit of spectrum. Designed as a complementary overlay, Intelsat Epic is fully integrated with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and global IntelsatOne terrestrial network.

2014: Intelsat Celebrates 50th Year of Setting the Pace in Space Leadership

Intelsat commemorates the founding of the commercial satellite sector and reaffirms its commitment to innovation with the new corporate tag line: “Envision. Connect. Transform.”

2016: Intelsat Launches 1st Intelsat Epic Satellite

On January 27, 2016, Intelsat successfully launched Intelsat 29e, the first satellite in its Intelsat Epic high-throughput fleet. Intelsat 29e combines high throughput Ku- spot beams in the Americas as well as Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean coverage. A transatlantic Ku- wide beam overlay provides broadcast capabilities for in-flight entertainment and C-band wide beam provides full South American continent coverage for media distribution.

2016: Intelsat Completes First Dual Satellite Launch

On August 24, 2016, Intelsat successfully launched Intelsat 33e and Intelsat36. Intelsat 33e is the second of the Intelsat Epic high-throughput satellite fleet, and it brings high-throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to the Africa, Europe, Middle East, and Asia regions. Intelsat 36 is designed to enhance Intelsat’s media neighborhoods serving Africa and the Indian Ocean regions. 

2018: Intelsat Demonstrates 8K Video Transmission During the 2018 World Cup

Intelsat partners with Globo, one of the largest broadcasters in Latin America, to demonstrate live 8K video transmissions in Brazil for the World Cup.


2018: Intelsat Establishes the C-Band Alliance

Leading global satellite operators announce the creation of a consortium called the C-Band Alliance, or CBA, in a move that could accelerate making midband spectrum available for 5G services.


2019: Intelsat Joins GSMA

Intelsat joins GSMA, the organization representing mobile operators worldwide, to further strengthen the integration of satellite and terrestrial technologies and advance 5G deployments.

2019: Intelsat Provides $50M Senior Secured Loan to BlackSky

Intelsat moves to expand capabilities with BlackSky, a leading provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging, and data analytics.

2020: Intelsat Pioneers First Mission Extension Vehicle Technology with Northrop Grumman with the docking of MEV-1 with Intelsat 901

MEV-1 successfully docked with Intelsat 901 to extend its service life by 5 years, enabling Intelsat to provide continuity of service for its customers and optimize capital expenditures for future innovation. An industry first, this technological advancement ushers in a new era of in-space servicing.

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