China successfully launches APSTAR-6C satellite on the Long March 3B

APSTAR-6C satellite being launched. Image courtesy of China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

APSTAR-6C satellite was launched successfully at 00:06 on May the 4th, 2018 via the Long March 3B launch vehicle from Xichang Satellite Launch Center at Sichuan province of China, according to a press release from the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). APSTAR-6C satellite will “enhance Asia-Pacific satellite communications, broadcasting services capabilities”.

APSTAR-6C satellite is the 12th satellite in-orbit delivery program of CGWIC, subordinated to China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC). The mission is implemented in accordance to the contract for APSTAR-6C satellite program between CGWIC and APT Satellite Company Limited (APT Satellite) signed on October 17th, 2015.

APSTAR-6C satellite — designed and manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) — is based on the Dong Fang Hong 4 (DFH-4) platform and with a designed life of 15 years. The satellite, equipped with total 45 operational transponders in C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band, will be positioned at 134 degree East Longitude geostationary orbit. It will provide regional communication and satellite broadcasting service covering Asia-Pacific regions of VSAT, video distribution, DTH and cellular backhaul applications.

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The LM-3B launch vehicle is developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), a subordinate body of the CASC. It is capable of launching a payload up to 5,500 kg into standard GTO. The launch mission is the 46th of LM-3B launch vehicle and the 273rd flight of Long March launch vehicle family.

APSTAR-6C satellite is the second communications satellite based on DFH-4 platform procured by APT Satellite. The first in-orbit satellite procured from CGWIC by APT Satellite — APSTAR-9 has been operating under normal conditions and continues to provide “reliable and high quality services” to APT Satellite’s customers since its launch in 2015. Up to now, the earliest DFH-4 communication satellite has served in orbit for more than nine years, and its maturity and reliability has been “comprehensively verified and gradually acknowledged by the international satellite operators” says the press release.

Meanwhile, APT Mobile SatCom Limited (APT Mobile), a corporation established by APT Satellite in Mainland China has been investing and developing APSTAR-6D, the third Chinese-made satellites in APSTAR satellites fleet, which will provide high-throughput broadband satellite communication services in the Asia-Pacific Region. The APSTAR-6D is also designed and manufactured by CGWIC as Prime Contractor.

APT Satellite, a company incorporated in Hong Kong, is a leading satellite operator in the Asia Pacific region. Its APSTAR satellite fleet provides satellite transponder leasing, broadcast, Teleport and Network, as well as data center services to broadcasters and telecommunication customers.


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