China launches new communications satellite 'ChinaSat 6C', marks 300th mission of Long March rocket series

ChinaSat 6C satellite. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters China Mar 10, 2019, 12.13 PM (IST)

China on Sunday sent a new communications satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The "ChinaSat 6C" satellite was launched at 00:28 Beijing Time by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. It will provide high-quality radio and TV transmission services.

The satellite, sent to the geostationary orbit, can cover China, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific island countries.

The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, and will be operated by the China Satellite Communications Co, Ltd.

The launch marks the 300th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The Long March carrier rocket series has been responsible for about 96.4 per cent of all the launch missions in China.

It took 37 years for the Long March rockets to complete the first 100 launches, 7.5 years to complete the second 100 launches, and only about four years to accomplish the final 100, with the average number of launches per year increasing from 2.7 to 13.3 and then to 23.5.

"So far, China has been launching satellites in a high frequency. We have 11 more missions scheduled for this year after this mission," said Jin Zhiqiang, general director of the First Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Story highlights

The 'ChinaSat 6C' satellite was launched at 00:28 Beijing Time by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. It will provide high-quality radio and TV transmission services.