China launches broadcasting satellite

by Chris Bergin

A Chinese Long March 3B launch vehicle has successfully entered the Xinnuo 2 (Sinosat-2) broadcasting satellite into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) in the early hours of Sunday local time, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The launch marks another milestone in China’s conservative, yet progressive, road towards becoming a global power in both the launch business and space exploration.


The Long March 3B is a multi-stage vehicle is China’s largest in terms of Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) capability. It can send 5,100-kg useful load into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years, will provide live television broadcasting services to the Chinese mainland, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The launch was carried out for Direct Broadcast Satellite service (DBS) and will serve 100 million customers.

Over the coming days, Chinese scientists will verify the satellite’s systems via on-orbit testing. The spacecraft was classed by officials as a breakthrough for the nation’s ability to develop the next generation of large capacity satellites.

‘The launch of Sinosat 2 will enable farming households in outlying areas to receive radio and TV programmes with as much choice and high-quality signals as urban cable subscribers have,’ Sino Satellite Communications Co-President Cheng Guangren told China Daily.

The launch comes just four days after a Long March 4B vehicle carried two Shijian 6 space experiment satellites into orbit, and marks the 93rd launch by China.

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