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China to Launch first High-throughput Communications Datellite in April
SOURCE: Xinhua UPDATED: 17 February 2017

BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- China plans to launch Shijian-13, its first high-throughput communications satellite, in April, the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) said Friday.

The 4.6-tonne satellite, with a message capacity of more than 20 GB, will be carried into orbit by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, according to the CAST.

An increase in satellite throughput will provide better access to the Internet on planes and high-speed trains, said Wang Min, deputy head of the CAST's Institute of Telecommunication Satellite.

For the first time, a large number of domestic components have been used on a communications satellite with an orbital life of 15 years, Wang said. It is also the first time electric propulsion has been used on a Chinese satellite.

Shijian-13 has been transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province. After completing in-orbit technical tests, it will be designated as Zhongxing-16.

In 2017, China plans to launch six communications satellites, including Shijian-13 and Shijian-18.

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