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China launches high-power communications, broadcast satellite 2006-10-29 01:56:03


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 market.(Xinhua Photo)
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    BEIJING/XICHANG, 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.

    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 Taiwan.

    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 service life.

    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. 

Editor: Luan Shanglin
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