Algeria Joins the Space Club with New Satellite in Orbit

Alcomsat 1 before integration with the Long March 3B rocket. Photo: ASAL.

Alcomsat 1 before integration with the Long March 3B rocket. Photo: ASAL.

The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) announced that the China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC) successfully launched the country’s first telecommunications satellite, Alcomsat 1, just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 10. A Chinese Long March 3B rocket carried the satellite into orbit from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province.

ASAL engineers will control and monitor the satellite from operations centers in Medea and Algiers. According to the agency, Algeria will use Alcomsat 1 for broadcast services, broadband internet, audio transmission and telemedicine.

The satellite is a culmination of the partnership forged between China and Algeria back in 2014, meant to promote peaceful international space activity. For this mission specifically, China has helped Algeria develop a training program for local engineers related to the design and construction of Alcomsat 1.

For the next week, Alcomsat 1 will maneuver to its orbital position at 24.8 degrees west. ASAL engineers will spend the next three to six months conducting post-deployment and in-orbit test phases before the satellite enters full service, ASAL stated.

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