China Wins First European Satellite Construction, Launch Contract

[Satellite TODAY Insider 10-21-11] China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC) has received its first contract in Europe to build a communications satellite for Belarus using its Dongfanghong-4 satellite platform and launch the spacecraft from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center two years and a half after the contract takes effect, CGWIC announced Sept. 20.
   The deal also will see CGWIC build a ground station in Minsk for Belarus to monitor the satellite, and provide training to Belarusian technicians. The is the seventh in-orbit delivery contract that China has signed, but the first with a European client, GGWIC President Yin Liming said in a statement. “The contract with Belarus marks China’s expansion of satellite in-orbit delivery service to the European market. Different from the past six contracts for in-orbit delivery of communications satellites, this project is the first time that China Great Wall Industry Corp. has joined in the satellite’s operation.”
   The satellite will be Belarus’ first owned after it is launched into orbit on a Long March 3-B rocket carrier for a lifespan of 15 years. The spacecraft’s mission will be to improve regional radio, television and telecommunications services and provide distance learning and Internet access.
“This deal marks an important extension to our service chain,” Yin said. China is scheduled to conduct three more commercial launches in 2011 – two of which are communications satellites made in China to be delivered in orbit. One of the satellites was built by China for Pakistan and launched in August. CGWIC said the other satellite would be delivered to its customer shortly.
   Separately, CGWIC announced Sept. 19 that it successfully launched a new communications satellite, Zhongxing-1A, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on a Long March-3B rocket. Zhongxing-1A was designed and manufactured by the China Academy of Space Technology to provide voice communications, broadcast and data transmission services for users across China.
   CGWIC said China is aiming to take a 10 percent share of the world’s commercial satellite market and 15 percent of the commercial launch business by 2015.
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