A Chinese Long March Rocket in its 3B Configuration launched today at 16:41 GMT (11:41am EST) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China, and delivered the multi-purpose Nigcomsat 1R to Orbit.
According to Chinese Media, the Launch and Ascent process was flawless and the large satellite was released into its targeted geostationary transfer orbit of 229 by 41,991-Kilometers (142 by 26,092-miles) with an inclination of approximately 24.8 Degrees. Spacecraft Separation occurred at around 17:07 GMT.
_ Nigcomsat 1 is a multi-purpose satellite that will provide Africa with Television, Education, Navigation and Security Services. The satellite will be used by civil customers as well as the military. It is a replacement satellite taking the spot of the first Nigcomsat which failed shortly after starting its mission in 2008. In 2009, Nigeria ordered the replacement. The spacecraft was designed and built by a Chinese Government-controlled manufacturer and it will be operated by Nigcomsat Ltd. Which is owned by the Nigerian Government. At Liftoff, the satellite had a mass of 11,243 pounds. Its design is based on the Chinese DFH-4 satellite platform. A total of 28 transponders are mounted on the vehicle that have a range reaching over all portions of Africa and into Europe and Central Asia once the spacecraft has achieved its Geosynchronous Orbit at 42.5 degrees east. The vehicle is equipped to operate C, Ku and Ka-Band for communication purposes and L-Band for Navigations. The satellite is expected to be operating for at least 15 years. It will undergo a short commissioning phase before being handed over to its operator for the start of on-orbit operations.