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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Long March Rocket Delivers Apstar 7 Satellite to Orbit

•, By Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — APT Satellite Holdings of Hong Kong on April 1 said its Apstar 7 telecommunications satellite, launched March 31 aboard a Chinese Long March 3B rocket, was healthy in orbit and in the coming weeks would replace the retiring Apstar 2R spacecraft at 76.5 degrees east.

Built by Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy and carrying 28 C-band and 28 Ku-band transponders, Apstar 7’s successful launch and in-orbit checkout will mean that APT will transfer ownership of Apstar 7B, still in construction, to China Satcom.

APT and the state-owned China Satcom of Beijing had agreed in 2010 that China Satcom would arrange up to 100 million euros ($132 million) in financing for Apstar 7B and would add the satellite to its own fleet unless Apstar 7 failed at launch or otherwise was not functioning in orbit.

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