At 16:21 Beijing Time (8:21 GMT) on October 7, 2011, China Successfully launched the W3C telecommunications satellite manufactured by Thales Alenia Space France (TASF) for Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) into predetermined orbit aboard an enhanced LM-3B (LM-3BE) launch vehicle from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC).
According to the data from Xi'an Satellite Control Center (XSCC),26 minutes after lift-off, the satellite and launch vehicle separated as designed. W3C satellite entered into the Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and the launch mission achieved a complete success. The injection parameters are as follows:
Allowable Deviation (3σ)
emi-major Axis (km)
The mission is the first time that Long March provides launch services to a European satellite operator.
Eutelsat's W3C satellite is based on the Spacebus 4000 C3 platform with a lift-off mass of 5.4 tons. It has up to 56 transponders (53 Ku-band and 3 Ka-band) onboard and a design life of over 15 years. Eutelsat is one of the three largest satellite operators in the world. The W3C satellite will be positioned at 16 degrees East, one of Eutelsat's fastest-growing orbital slots, from which it will provide high-quality broadcasting services for users in Central Europe and Indian Ocean islands, as well as telecom/data services in Africa.
The LM-3BE launch vehicle for this mission is developed and manufactured by CALT. It is the most powerful launch vehicle for GTO mission in Long March fleet, and is capable of launching a payload up to 5,500kg into standard GTO. This mission is the 148th flight of Long March launch vehicles and the 45th flight of LM-3A Series launch vehicles.