AsiaSat 6 Satellite launched by SpaceX
The private space technology company SpaceX has successfully launched a new commercial telecommunications satellite for Asia early Sunday. A SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) Sunday, carrying the AsiaSat 6 satellite into space for Hong Kong-based firm AsiaSat.
It will be the tenth AsiaSat-operated satellite to broadcast videos and provide telecommunication services to Southeast Asia and China for the next 15 years.
SpaceX originally planned to launch AsiaSat 6 on August 26, but the flight was put on hold after an experimental rocket used to test landing techniques at the company's McGregor, Texas, flight facility suffered an engine failure that triggered the vehicle's self-destruct system.
This was the second launch in just four-and-a-half weeks for SpaceX and the Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co., or AsiaSat, following the successful launch of the AsiaSat 8 relay station on August 5. AsiaSat 6 will move to its operational position 36,000 km above the Equator where it will undergo in-orbit testing before being brought into commercial use.
AsiaSat 6 is based on Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform and designed to operate from the 120° East orbital location. It carries 28 C-band transponders and 14 of them will be leased to Thailand-based Thaicom in exchange for more than $170 million. The craft will offer two beams, i.e. global beam and regional beam. The satellite features high-power amplifiers that will provide exceptional quality and reliability for broadband networks and video distribution.
William Wade, president and CEO of AsiaSat, said, “This year marks a major milestone for AsiaSat. The addition of AsiaSat 6 to AsiaSat's expanding fleet of five in-orbit satellites including the new AsiaSat 8 significantly enhances our capability to offer a wider range of transponder capacity to our clients”.
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