Eutelsat Communications announced the successful launch of its W3C satellite by a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China.
Partial deployment of the satellite’s solar array was carried out within three hours of separation and will be followed over the coming ten days by maneuvers that include circularizing W3C's orbit and deploying antennas.
"Our sincere appreciation to Great Wall Industry Corporation for the excellent performance of this launch, and to Thales Alenia Space for their dedication to this sophisticated and challenging program. This is a new milestone, achieved only 14 days after the launch of our ATLANTIC BIRD 7 satellite,” Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said
Built for Eutelsat by Thales Alenia Space, W3C will replace the EUROBIRD 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites. Through its configuration of 56 transponders, (53 Ku and three Ka), it will address markets for broadcasting and telecom/data services via four footprints.
A wide footprint serving Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will serve markets for data networks and newsgathering.