BEIJING — On the early morning of Oct 17, China put a new communication satellite “APSTAR-9” into orbit in a commercial mission by the Long March-3B carrier rocket from the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
Monitoring data collected 26 minutes after the satellite’s launch at 0:16 am Beijing time indicated that it had separated from the rocket and reached its designated orbit.
Developed using China’s homegrown DFH-4 platform for the Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Company Limited, APSTAR-9 is designed to stay in service for at least 15 years. It will replace its predecessor APSTAR-9A, which was launched in 1998 with a designed mission life of 15 years also.
With the new satellite, APT’s APSTAR fleet will be able to cover some three quarters of global population in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia to provide TV transmission and transponder, data and satellite communication services.
The launch on Oct 17 is the 214th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.