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|China launches high-power communications, broadcast satellite
Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- China successfully launched a homemade high-power
communications and broadcast satellite into space aboard a Long March-3B carrier
rocket at 0:20 on Sunday.
China's first large direct broadcasting
satellite SINOSAT-2 is successfully launched into space aboard a Long
March-3B carrier rocket in Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest
China's Sichuan province, at 0:20am Oct. 29, 2006. SINOSAT-2, capable of
carrying radio and TV signals across the country, is designed and
developed by China alone. SINOSAT-2 has a 15-year mission life and will
provide TV and radio transmissions, digital films, direct TV and digital
broadband to meet the needs of China's rapidly developing TV
The new-generation SinoSat-2 satellite, launched from
the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, is
designed to serve broadcast TV, digital TV, live broadcast TV and digital
broadband multimedia systems on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and
The satellite split off from the rocket about 25
minutes after lift-off and then successfully entered the geosynchronous transfer
orbit. Its orbit will be adjusted several times by commanders on the ground
until it is positioned above the equator at 92.2 East Longitude.
SinoSat-2, developed and manufactured mainly by the
China Academy of Space Technology, weighs about 5.1 tones and has 22
transponders. It has a designed life of 15 years, including 12 years of in-orbit
The carrier rocket used in the launch was developed
and manufactured by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The launch
marked the 93rd flight of Long March series of carrier rockets and China's 51th
consecutive successful space launch since October 1996.
A SINO Satellite Communications Co. Ltd. (SINOSAT)
official said SinoSat-2 will greatly help China to tap the international space
flight market, improve the capacity, safety and reliability of China's
information broadcast and conduct live TV broadcast.
Earlier this month, Sun Laiyan, chief of the China
National Space Administration, said that the satellite would enable every
farming household to receive TV signals using a small dish, thereby bringing
educational programs and even remote medical services to farmers.
Industrial sources said the launch was a milestone
for the communication sector and would most probably speed up the reform of
China's satellite TV service by prompting the abolishment of a 13-year-old
regulation banning individuals from setting up dish antennas.
Industry analysts predict that once individuals are
allowed to install satellite dishes, up to 100 million households will do so
between 2006 and 2010.
China currently has about 400 million television
sets, a huge potential market for satellite TV.
SinoSat-1, launched in July 1998, was bought from
abroad mainly to undertake China's radio and TV broadcast and communications
services in the Asia-Pacific Region.
SinoSat-3, especially for radio and TV services, is now in the stage of research and development. It will be put into operation in 2007.