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Apstar-6D satellite is heading for space via the Long March 3B rocket

China hastened the launch of its space missions with the latest success being a satellite heading for space via the Long March 3B rocket on the 9th of July. The firm launching this satellite intends to have a global connection of its geostationary satellites.

Apstar-6D is the high-profile satellite, which was launched on the 9th of July at 8 a.m. This launch was from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan. The China Great Wall Industry Corp. Whose purpose is to initiate Long March launches reported that launch was a success. This firm acts on behalf of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). 

The successful launch of this satellite marks the inauguration of China’s Dongfanghong-4 platform, DFH-4E. This platform is a modification of the first platform to reduce weight and create room for communication payloads.

Initially, China lost a pair of its DFH-4E satellites in unsuccessful launches. One of them is the ChinaSat-18 satellite, a construction of Satcom, which was unsuccessful due to system blackout in August 2019. The other, Nusantara-2 satellite, is part of the Long March 3B’s failure in April. This satellite was a creation meant for Indonesian operator PSN. 

The Apstar-6D satellite was an order by APT Mobile SatCom Limited whose purpose was to connect the aircraft, ships, and remote locations on earth via communication signals. APT Mobile SatCom Limited is a firm developed from the collaboration of Hong Kong’s APT Satellite and other agencies in China mainland.

The vice president of APT Satellite Huang Baozhong articulates that this program is a development from the World Satellite Business Week conference held in Paris last year. He says that the project is a long-term plan that covers the entire globe. APT Mobile intends to invade orbital slots and hire other satellites from different operators to cover the horizon away from the Asia Pacific. Huang hopes for the apt acceptance of these satellite operators to save on time. 

Financial records released in August 2019 indicate that APT Satellite owns 30% of the shares in APT mobile. The two firms are yet to release any statement concerning the additional satellite orders to fill the global Ku-band system. 

Finally, Apstar-6D weights 5500 kilograms with Ku-band user beams trolling at 90 and other 8 for the counterpart band beams. These beams come together to connect gateway stations. The CASC explains that this satellite has 14.4 kilowatts of power to control a user beam from 1 gigabit in a second.