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Satnews Daily
January 17th, 2016

China's First Launch In The New Year Is A First...A European Communications' Satellite Soars  

Long March 3B launch of the Belintersat-1 satellite. Photo Credit: Xinhua/Liu Chan

[Satnews] China sent a Belarusian telecom satellite into intended orbit from southwest China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 12:57 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday. This was their first launch of 2016 and the 223rd launch of the Long march carrier rocket.

The satellite, carried by a Long March-3B rocket, is Belarus' first communication satellite, and this was also the first time that China had launched a satellite for a European country. The Belintersat-1 was built by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. with a designed life of 15 years.

For the commercial and government institutions in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, the Belintersat project will be providing a number of widely demanded services that will include: satellite Internet; mobile satellite communication; solutions for mobile operators; corporate networks provisioning; and live TV broadcasting.  The creation of the National System of Satellite Communication and Broadcast of the Republic of Belarus is the largest project in the field of telecommunications, implemented by the Republic of Belarus.

The Presidential Decree that led to the project identified a series of main objectives to the project, ranging from the creation of a communication satellite through to fostering modern communication technology to the remote areas at affordable prices.

It will be put into a geostationary orbit 51.5 degrees east longitude to provide a wide range of telecommunication services, including satellite TV, radio broadcasting and broadband Internet access

Belintersat-1 is based on the Chinese DFH-4 bus, with the communications payload being supplied by Thales Alenia Space.

The satellite is equipped with 20 C-band transponders (36 MHz), 18 Ku-band transponders (36MHz) and 4 enhanced Ku-band transponders (54 MHz). The satellite will be operational at the 51.5 degrees East longitude on the geostationary orbit. Operational lifetime is expected to be 15 years. Some of the transponders on board Belintersat-1 have been sold to China Satcom, being marketed under the designation ZX-15 Zhongxing-15 (or ChinaSat-15).

The project is considered of high innovative, economic, social and political importance, providing a full range of advanced satellite services in Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as to ensure global coverage in the Eastern Hemisphere.