China launches European broadcasting satellite

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 09-10-2011

A Chinese Long March rocket has launched Eutelsat’s W3C communications satellite, which will serve markets from Europe to the Indian Ocean.
The event marks China’s first launch for a Western satellite in more than 12 years. European-built spacecraft were launched by China in the last decade, but they were for operators in Asia.
The launch was carried out by state-owned firm China Great Wall Industry Corp, which is authorised to sell Long March rockets on the commercial market.
Eutelsat said the spacecraft was in good shape after launch. W3C, a Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 C3 model, carries 53 Ku-band and three Ka-band transponders and will deliver telecommunications services to Europe, the Indian Ocean region and parts of Africa. It is designed to deliver 12 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of 15 years of service life in orbit.
Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “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 programme.
“This is a new milestone, achieved only 14 days after the launch of our Atlantic Bird 7 satellite.”
Atlantic Bird 7 was placed in orbit by a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket in September to serve Africa and the Middle East.
"With these two new satellites scheduled to enter service during the second quarter of our financial year, Eutelsat will be equipped with new resources to meet strong client demand across dynamic markets in Central Europe, Africa and Indian Ocean islands, strengthening our confidence to meet our objectives for the year,” de Rosen added.