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China launches commercial communications satellite
Posted: Tue, Apr 12, 2005, 7:22 PM ET (2322 GMT)
Long March 3B launch of APStar 6 (Xinhua) A Chinese Long March booster launched a Western-built commercial communications satellite late Tuesday. The Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 8:00 am EDT (1200 GMT, 8 pm Beijing time) Tuesday and successfully placed the APStar 6 communications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The 4,600-kg satellite, an Alcatel Spacebus 4000 C1, carries 38 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders and will be located in GEO at 134 degrees east. The satellite will be used by APT Satellite Holdings to provide communications services to much of the Asia-Pacific region; the company noted that the Ku-band payload, equipped with anti-jamming technologies, will primarily be used for China. The launch was the first to carry a Western-built payload since the United States enacted export control restrictions on satellite technology destined for China. To get around those restrictions, Alcatel replaced components usually supplied by US manufacturers with alternatives from non-US companies.
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