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China Launches NigComSat-1R Satellite for Nigeria
    UPDATED: 2011-12-21
BEIJING, Dec. 20 (China Space News) — China launched the communications satellite NigComSat-1R for Nigeria at 0:41 a.m. Tuesday 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. 

The NigComSat-1R contract was signed between the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) on March 24, 2009. According to the contract, NigComSat-1R will replace the deorbited NigComSat-1 satellite.

The NigComSat-1R is the 8th satellite built on DFH-4 satellite bus developed by China Academy of Space Technology.

The satellite, covering Central Western and Southern Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and some Central Asia area, will be mainly applied to communications, broadcasting, tele-education, broad band multimedia service, navigation service and so on.

The Long March-3B launch vehicle -- China's most powerful launcher for the GTO orbit -- was developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The launching of the satellite marks the 154th flight for the Long March carrier rocket series.