China has launched the Alcomsat-1 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) situated in Sichuan Province.

Developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), A Long March-3B rocket was used to deploy the satellite, which is owned by Algeria.

Approximately 26 minutes after lift-off, the Alcomsat-1 got separated from its launch vehicle and entered into a planned GTO with an apogee of 41,991km, a perigee of 200km and an inclination of 26.4º.

“The latest launch represents Algeria’s first communications satellite programme.”

China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) has designed and manufactured the satellite, which is based on the DFH-4 platform and features a lift-off mass of 5,225kg.

Capable of remaining operational for 15 years, the Alcomsat-1 is equipped with 33 operational transponders, including 19 Ku-band, 12 Ka-band and two L-band.

To be positioned in a 24.8° West longitude GTO, the satellite is expected to be used for broadcast, emergency communications, remote education, e-government, enterprise communications, satellite broadband, and satellite-based augmentation system applications, among other services.

The latest launch represents Algeria’s first communications satellite programme, and the first bilateral space technology cooperation between Algeria and China.

It was carried out as part of the Alcomsat-1 satellite contract signed in December 2013 between China Great Wall Industry (CGWIC) and Algeria Space Agency (ASAL).

CGWIC was selected as the prime contractor to provide design, manufacture, assemble, test, launch and deliver the Alcomsat-1 into orbit on behalf of ASAL.

The company was also required to provide other necessary ground deliverable parts for the satellite operation and application.