At 00:15'04, August 12th, 2011 (Beijing Time), the Pakistan Communications Satellite 1R (PakSat-1R) owned by Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) aboard a Long March 3B launch vehicle (LM-3B or CZ-3B) and successfully entered into the pre-determined orbit. It is the first time for China aerospace industry to export a communications satellite to an Asian customer on an in-orbit delivery basis.

About 1542 seconds after the LM-3B lift-off, the orbital parameters received by Xi’an Satellite Control Center (XSCC) showed that the launch vehicle and spacecraft separated normally and the satellite entered into a super Geo-stationary Transfer Orbit with an apogee of 41985.18km, a perigee of 203.72 km and an inclination of 24.79. The launch is declared a mission success.

PakSat-1R, with a lift-off mass of 5119.5 kg, is based on Dong Fang Hong 4 (DFH-4) satellite platform manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation (CASC). Its payload includes 30 transponders (12 C band and 18 Ku band) and three antennas. The satellite beams cover the cities and regions in South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Africa and a part of Europe areas and cities. The satellite service life is 15 years and its end-of-life power is 7.75KW. The Customer Furnished Items (CFI) developed by SUPARCO are also on-board the Satellite to verify SUPARCO’ s satellite development capability.

The LM-3B launch vehicle used for this launch mission is developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), a subsidiary of CASC. LM-3B is China’s most powerful launch vehicle for GTO mission,capable of launching a payload up to 5,500 kg into standard GTO. This is the 15th launch of LM-3B and the 143rd launch of the Long March family. 

The launch of PakSat-1R is conducted on an In-orbit delivery basis according to the PakSat-1R Communications Satellite System Contract signed by and between China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) subordinated to CASC, and SUPARCO on October 15th, 2008 in Beijing, China. According to the Contract, CGWIC, Prime Contractor, together with its subcontractors, CALT, CAST and China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General (CLTC) shall deliver this large powerful communications satellite into orbit, related training services and two TT&C ground stations located in Lahore and Karachi to SUPARCO.

In the near future, PakSat-1R will perform a series of orbit maneuvers under the control of XSCC before reaching its final orbital position of 38 degree East longitude over the equator. It will be delivered to Pakistan after in-orbit tests, and thus to satisfy the needs of Pakistan in telecommunications, broadcasting and broadband multimedia services etc.

PakSat-1R is the third communications satellite delivered to its international customers on an in-orbit delivery basis by China space industry, and it is also the second space program between China and Pakistan after the piggy-back launch of BADR-A by an LM-2E on July 16,1990. PakSat-1R program is a major milestone event for space cooperation between the two countries.

China and Pakistan are good neighbors linked by rivers and mountains, close friends with mutual trust, partners of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, and brothers in weal and woe. In the all-round cooperation between the two nations, space cooperation has attracted great attention. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari jointly witnessed the signing of the PakSat-1R Contract. The three-year cooperative efforts devoted for the satellite project have further promoted the friendship of the two countries. The year of 2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan, and on the eve of the 64th Independent Day of Pakistan, the successful launch of PakSat-1R has added to the glory of the "China-Pakistan Friendship Year", and has refreshed the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership of China and Pakistan with new vigor and vitality.

The launch of PakSat-1R is the first communications satellite exported by China aerospace to world customers in 2011 and three (3) international commercial launch services have been scheduled this year, two of them are satellite missions on an in-orbit delivery basis.

(Note: Pakistan gained its independence on August 14, 1947.)

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