Chinese-made satellite launched for Belarus
Updated: 2016-01-16 03:16
By Zhao Lei(chinadaily.com.cn)
The BELINTERSAT-1 is launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan province, Jan 16, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
A Chinese communications satellite was launched for Belarus on Saturday morning, marking the first Chinese satellite made for a European country.
The BELINTERSAT-1, the first communications satellite to be operated by Belarus, will contribute to improving radio, television and telecommunications, as well as Internet service, in the Eastern European nation and its neighboring regions, said China Great Wall Industry Corp, major contractor of the project.
The satellite was lifted atop a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province. It was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology based on the DFH-4 satellite platform. Carrying 38 transponders, the satellite has a designed life span of 15 years, according to the company.
China first sold its communications satellite to an overseas buyer in 2007 when the NigcomSat-1 was launched and then handed over to Nigeria. Since then, the country has exported communications satellites to a host of developing nations, such as Venezuela, Pakistan and Bolivia.
Saturday's launch was China's first space mission of 2016, a year that will witness more than 20 Chinese space activities, including the Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft mission and the missions of the Long March 5 and Long March 7 rockets.
China has launched 43 rockets to put 49 satellites into orbit for 20 foreign clients since 1990, when it made its first commercial launch, of a communications satellite atop a Long March 3 rocket.