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New communications satellite lifts off from China

Posted: 05 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:China digital TV? communications satellites? SinoSat satellite series?

A new communications satellite was launched last week (June 1) by China to provide extended radio and TV signal coverage across the country. This is according to a Xinhua News Agency report.

According to the state media, the Long March-3A rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest Sichuan province eight minutes after midnight and separated from the SinoSat-3 satellite 24 minutes later.

SinoSat-3 and its carrier rocket were developed and manufactured by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, both under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

Its predecessor SinoSat-2, China's first direct-to-home satellite, was launched Oct. 29, 2006. A month after its launch, Sino Satellite Communications Co. Ltd, the satellite operator and the user of the SinoSat series, reported that the SinoSat-2 failed to deploy its solar panels and communication antenna and was deemed inoperable.

According to the company's spokesman who spoke to the state media in November, a substitute satellite for the SinoSat-2 will take at least three years to develop, with more technical upgrades.

According to statistics, China has 12.6 million digital TV subscribers and 400 million TV sets, suggesting a huge potential market for satellite TV, reports the state media.

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