BEIJING — China on May 4 sent a new APSTAR-6C communication satellite into orbit for Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co., Ltd.
It was China’s 10th commercial communication satellite for export, and the second entire Chinese satellite sold to a mainstream international satellite operator, according to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which produced the satellite.
It will replace the still operating APSTAR-6 satellite to provide broadcasting and communication services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
The APSTAR-6C features more advanced functions than its predecessor, said Wei Qiang, chief designer of the satellite.
According to the APT Satellite website, before the launch of APSTAR-6C, the company was operating four satellites in orbit: APSTAR-5, APSTAR-6 and APSTAR-7, which were developed by U.S. and European producers; and APSTAR-9, developed by China’s CAST.
APSTAR-9, which was launched on Oct 17, 2015, has been working well for the company, says APT Satellite, which expects the new satellite to provide more choice for its international customers.
The company plans to launch another three or four satellites to form a global broadband satellite network.
CAST has a contract with the company to produce the APSTAR-6D, which will be based on an improved version of China’s DFH-4 satellite platform.