China launches communications satellite

30 Oct 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) China launched a domestically produced communications satellite into orbit to provide wider and more advanced television services across the country, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

A Long March-3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang launching site in western Sichuan province, placing the 5.1-ton satellite into orbit, Xinhua said.

The Sinosat-2 satellite was built by the China Academy of Space Technology for the Sino Satellite Communications Co., or Sinosat, a state-run provider of satellite communications.

Sinosat-2 is designed to provide broader coverage of TV signals and allow for more digital and live broadcast TV services across China, Xinhua said.

China's decades-old aerospace program has gathered momentum in recent years, allowing the country to place more advanced satellites into orbit for both commercial and military purposes.

Sinosat-1, built by the French company Aerospatiale, was launched in 1998. Sinosat plans to launch a third satellite next year mainly to provide radio and TV services, Xinhua said.

© 2006 The Associated Press

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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