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China Launches PAKSAT-1R Satellite for Pakistan
    UPDATED: 2011-08-15
BEIJING, Aug. 12 (China Space News) — China launched the communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for Pakistan at 0:15 a.m. Friday from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The satellite was carried by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. According to the control center, the satellite successfully separated from its carrier rocket and entered the geostationary transfer orbit as scheduled, 26 minutes after launch.

It is China's first international export of a commercial satellite this year, the first in-orbit delivery to an Asian customer, and also the third fully integrated satellite export to an international customer after the NigComSat-1 and VeneSat-1 communications satellites.

Developed by China Academy of Space Technology, PAKSAT-1R is based on the DFH-4 bus with a total of 30 transponders and three antennae onboard. It will provide a range of services, including telecom, broadcasting and broadband Internet, covering South Asia, the Middle East, and eastern Africa and some regions of Europe.

The Long March-3B launch vehicle -- China's most powerful launcher for the GTO orbit -- was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The launching of the satellite marks the 143th flight for the Long March carrier rocket series.

The contract for the PAKSAT-1R was signed in 2008 between China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan.

The launch of PAKSAT-1R shows that cooperation between the space industries of China and Pakistan continues to develop well. Pakistan's first low-orbit satellite, BADR-A, was launched by China in 1990 in the nose cone of a Long March-2E rocket.

According to CGWIC, after satellite positioning and in-orbit testing, PAKSAT-1R is expected to be officially handed over to Pakistan in October.