China launched a communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for Pakistan at 0:15 a.m. Friday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Aug. 12, 2011. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
XICHANG, Sichuan, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- China launched a communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for Pakistan at 0:15 a.m. Friday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The satellite was carried by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, according to the launch center. It is China's first in-orbit delivery to Asian customers and also the first commercial satellite export to international users this year.
According to statistics from the control center, the satellite successfully separated from its carrier rocket and entered geostationary transfer orbit as scheduled, 26 minutes after being launched.
PAKSAT-1R will provide a range of services, including broadband Internet, telecom and broadcasting, covering some regions of Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and the eastern Africa.
The contract for the PAKSAT-1R was signed in 2008 between China Great Wall Industry Corporation and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan.
China and Pakistan share a long history of space technology cooperation. Pakistan's first low-orbit satellite, BADR-A, was launched by China in 1990 with Long March 2E rocket.