Communications spacecraft launched by China
Posted: June 9, 2008
China launched a new communications satellite Monday to beam television programming directly to millions of homes and businesses fitted with small receiving dishes, a state news agency reported.
The Chinasat 9 satellite blasted off from the Xichang space center at 1215 GMT (8:15 a.m. EDT) Monday, or at about sunset at the launch site, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The nearly 10,000-pound spacecraft was driven into orbit by a Long March 3B rocket, the most powerful booster in the Chinese space program.
Built by Thales Alenia Space of France, Chinasat 9 will be stationed in geosynchronous orbit along the equator at 92.2 degrees east longitude. The craft's 22 Ku-band transponders will be activated to provide communications services across China for more than 15 years, according to a Thales spokesperson.
Chinasat 9's communications payload will broadcast live television coverage for the Beijing Olympic Games in August, Xinhua said.
The satellite will be operated by Beijing-based China Direct Broadcast Satellite Co., a state-owned company providing satellite broadcasting, mobile communications and Internet services.
Monday's launch marked the 28th orbital delivery of a satellite this year, and the third mission for China's space program in 2008.