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Anik F2 Launched on Ariane 5.

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Anik F2 Launched on Ariane 5.
Anik F2 Launched on Ariane 5.

The world's largest commercial communications satellite, Telstar's Anik F2, was launched atop an Ariane 5G rocket today. The rocket lifted off from the European Spaceport in Kourou at 0044 UTC (8:44 pm EDT July 17), and carried the 5,950 kg (13,118 lb) satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. Once it reaches its final orbit at 111.1 degrees West, the Anik F2 will provide data and broadcast services to all of North America.

Telesat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, announced today the successful launch of the Anik F2 - the world’s largest commercial communications satellite. Telesat’s Anik F2 also makes history as the first satellite to fully commercialize the Ka frequency band - a breakthrough satellite communications technology for delivering cost-effective, two-way broadband services.

Telesat’s Anik F2 will enable dramatic improvements in access to two-way, high-speed Internet services for consumers and businesses. The satellite will also provide new capacity for a wide range of broadcasting and telecommunications services across North America.

"With Anik F2 we enter a new frontier in satellite communications - not just for Telesat, but also for the global communications industry," said Larry Boisvert, Telesat’s president and CEO. "Once again, Telesat is making advanced communications more accessible for everyone. With Telesat’s Anik F2, North American consumers and businesses will have access to the most advanced broadband services - anywhere and anytime."

Anik F2 will be used in innovative ways for both commercial and public services. For example, the Canadian government can use Anik F2 to improve services to remote communities through tele-health, tele-learning and other applications.

Manufactured by Boeing satellite Systems, Telesat’s Anik F2 was launched on an Ariane 5G rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou at 9:44 p.m. local time. Arianespace provided mission management. Anik F2 represents Telesat’s fifteenth successful satellite launch.

Telesat’s Anik F2 is equipped with 38 Ka-band transponders, 32 Ku-band transponders and 24 C-band transponders. The spacecraft has a launch mass of 5,950 kg (13,118 lb), a solar array span of 48 metres once deployed in orbit, and spacecraft power of 15 kw at end of life. The satellite, operating in geostationary orbit, will provide commercial services for an estimated 15 years.

Following in-orbit tests this summer and fall, Telesat will take possession of Anik F2 and begin commercial service in the fall.

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